Dr. Robert D. Braun
David and Andrew Lewis Professor of Space Technology
Daniel Guggenheim School of Aerospace Engineering
Georgia Institute of Technology

Abstract: In the past twenty years, significant advances have been made in our ability to land scientific payloads on the Mars surface. These advances have come largely from continued evolution and refinement of Viking-era spaceflight technology. Over the past five years, a suite of new EDL technologies has been matured and is rapidly approaching readiness for mission infusion. This presentation will provide an overview of present EDL capabilities and discuss the basis for the present set of EDL technology investments. Looking forward, the benefit of these technology investments will be characterized in terms of the potential future missions that may soon be possible. While Mars exploration will be the focus of this talk, the application of some of these same technologies to science missions to other planetary bodies and a variety of Earth-based applications will also be discussed.

For those who are unable to attend, this seminar will be webcast and can be viewed by registering online.

About the Speaker

Dr. Robert D. Braun leads an active research program focused on the design of advanced flight systems and technologies for planetary exploration and has contributed to numerous spaceflight projects. He has also served as a senior leader for several engineering and technology organizations at NASA, including service as the NASA Chief Technologist in 2010-2011. From 1989 to 2003, he was a member of the technical staff of the NASA Langley Research Center. Dr. Braun received a B.S. in Aerospace Engineering from Penn State in 1987, M.S. in Astronautics from the George Washington University in 1989, and Ph.D. in Aeronautics and Astronautics from Stanford University in 1996. He is a member of the National Academy of Engineering, Editor-in-Chief of the AIAA Journal of Spacecraft and Rockets, Vice Chair of the NRC Space Studies Board, and the author or co-author of over 275 technical publications in the fields of atmospheric flight dynamics, planetary exploration, design optimization, and systems engineering. From January through June 2015, he served as a Moore Distinguished Scholar at Caltech.


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