Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

NASA Marshall Employee Embarks On A Mission To Bring "Jetson" Technology To Real Americans

Date:
August 23, 2000
Source:
NASA's Marshall Space Flight Center
Summary:
Like many Americans, Lawanna Harris grew up watching "The Jetsons." Today, she is embarking on a journey to make space-age technology - like that found in the popular cartoon series -- her life's work. And, she's well on her way already.

Like many Americans, Lawanna Harris grew up watching "The Jetsons." Today, she is embarking on a journey to make space-age technology – like that found in the popular cartoon series -- her life's work. And, she's well on her way already.

Related Articles


An engineering technician at NASA's Marshall Space Flight Center in Huntsville, Ala., Harris was recently named Outstanding Engineering Student of the Year by Alabama A&M University in Huntsville. She was also selected by the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics (AIAA) to present her research on a rocket-based combined cycle engine for future generation space travel.

Her paper is one of approximately 3,500 papers published each year by the 30,000-member global organization. "I knew I'd be working on technology that would be realized out of the Jetson cartoons," Harris said of her research.

"We've made such subtle advances that, like most Americans, we think it's something normal. But it's not. The reason we have improved medical technology, cell phones, pagers and fast-networking computers is because of the exploration and experimentation we've done in space."

Her senior design paper, presented at the Year 2000 Joint Propulsion Conference Session, held last month in Huntsville, describes the technical and economical feasibility analysis of an innovative propulsion system designed utilizing the rocket-based combined cycle concept.

Her results support the development of a 1/20th scaled prototype engine for evaluation and testing. The STEPER-engine (Space Transportation Engine Prototype for Engineering Research) has been designed to power a reusable launch vehicle.

NASA's goal is to reduce today's cost of roughly $10,000 per pound of payload to hundreds of dollars per pound within 25 years and tens of dollars per pound within 40 years.

"My conceptual design addresses some of the economic and technical issues of making access to space more affordable. The STEPER engine was designed with features geared to increase reliability and maintainability, therefore increasing safety and reducing the cost of fabrication and operation," she said.

It's been an "exciting year" for Harris, who earned her bachelor's degree in mechanical engineering from Alabama A&M University in the spring. She plans to use her degree to continue space-related research.

"There's so much we have yet to discover from space exploration – new medicines and new materials that could help people on a daily basis," she said. "We've only skimmed the surface of information available in space. I'd like to help make it more affordable to get there."

Harris is now working at the Marshall Center on propulsion systems design for the X-38, the emergency crew return vehicle for the International Space Station.

A native of Huntsville, Harris is the daughter of Carrie and Chester Harris.

-30-


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by NASA's Marshall Space Flight Center. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

NASA's Marshall Space Flight Center. "NASA Marshall Employee Embarks On A Mission To Bring "Jetson" Technology To Real Americans." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 23 August 2000. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2000/08/000803125137.htm>.
NASA's Marshall Space Flight Center. (2000, August 23). NASA Marshall Employee Embarks On A Mission To Bring "Jetson" Technology To Real Americans. ScienceDaily. Retrieved January 29, 2015 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2000/08/000803125137.htm
NASA's Marshall Space Flight Center. "NASA Marshall Employee Embarks On A Mission To Bring "Jetson" Technology To Real Americans." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2000/08/000803125137.htm (accessed January 29, 2015).

Share This


More From ScienceDaily



More Space & Time News

Thursday, January 29, 2015

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Asteroid's Moon Spotted During Earth Flyby

Asteroid's Moon Spotted During Earth Flyby

Rumble (Jan. 27, 2015) Scientists working with NASA&apos;s Deep Space Network antenna at Goldstone, California discovered an unexpected moon while observing asteroid 2004 BL86 during its recent flyby past Earth. Credit to &apos;NASA JPL&apos;. Video provided by Rumble
Powered by NewsLook.com
Water Fleas Prepare for Space Voyage

Water Fleas Prepare for Space Voyage

Reuters - Innovations Video Online (Jan. 26, 2015) Scientists are preparing a group of water fleas for a unique voyage into space. The aquatic crustaceans, known as Daphnia, can be used as a miniature model for biomedical research, and their reproductive and swimming behaviour will be tested for signs of stress while on board the International Space Station. Jim Drury went to meet the team. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Mars Rover Opportunity Celebrates 11-Year Anniversary

Mars Rover Opportunity Celebrates 11-Year Anniversary

Rumble (Jan. 26, 2015) Eleven years ago NASA&apos;s Opportunity rover touched down on Mars for what was only supposed to be a 90-day mission. Since then it has traveled 25.9 miles (41.7 kilometers), further than any other off-Earth surface vehicle has ever driven. Credit to &apos;NASA&apos;. Video provided by Rumble
Powered by NewsLook.com
NASA's On Course To Take Pluto's Best Photo Ever

NASA's On Course To Take Pluto's Best Photo Ever

Newsy (Jan. 25, 2015) NASA&apos;s New Horizons probe is en route to snap a picture of Pluto this summer, but making sure it doesn&apos;t miss its one chance to do so starts now. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Space & Time

Matter & Energy

Computers & Math

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins