In this ambitious and novel project, NASA is awarding launch opportunities to a small fraction of competing schools and organizations. Along with other researchers, undergraduate mechanical engineer Sruti Vutukury ’21 is working on one of the sponsored projects at Cornell.
Cornell will lose a giant this week. In only a few days, Steve Squyres ’78, Ph.D. ’81, James A. Weeks Professor of Physical Sciences, will depart from the helm of the astronomy department to assume the role of chief scientist at Blue Origin, a space exploration company. Having led NASA’s Mars exploration efforts, Squyres continued to teach at Cornell for over 40 years. His classes garnered acclaim among students, with Arts & Sciences Dean Ray Jayawardhana said, “He brought Mars to campus and gave us all a chance to see another world close-up. His infectious enthusiasm for exploration will continue to stimulate planetary scientists at Cornell for years to come.” Squyres’ years of service to the University and his dedication to the dual pursuits of discovery and its emotional conveyance have made Cornell history.
By using powerful space telescopes, they have already made — and continue to make — progress in spotting and learning more about such exoplanets. These researchers are specifically focusing on studying rocky planets that orbit relatively closer stars to Earth.
For 340 days, astronaut Scott Kelly lived in the International Space Station, while his identical twin brother Mark Kelly, a retired astronaut, lived a regular life on Earth. Both collected physiological and cognitive data about themselves, hoping to find out what space would do to a human’s body.
Natalie Batalha, a former project scientist for NASA’s Kepler Mission who made into the list of 2017 Time’s 100 most influential people, will lead the audience on a journey to the stars in an upcoming lecture.