Materials Enabling Future Space Travel in Extreme Environments

How fast, is fast? How hot, is hot? How strong, is strong? These are some of the questions that materials scientists need to answer every day to develop materials that can handle the journey from Earth to Mars. On Earth, vehicles are required that travel faster than the speed of sound, and when doing so, heat their surfaces up to ~3000 ˚C! In space, vehicles are required to provide thrust for months on end to reach destinations millions of miles away. On Mars, vehicles are required to descend into the Martian atmosphere and arrive safely on the surface. What materials do we have available today in our toolbox to achieve these missions? More importantly, how does one implement the philosophy of “imagineering”, the idea of playing in the realm of science fiction using physics, to push the boundaries of science fact, to develop materials of the future. By using imagineering, what will space travel of the future look like? What machines can we imagine to propel us through our solar system? And what materials do we need to make them a reality? Join Prof. McCormack as he uses this philosophy of imagineering to help drive the design of materials that must withstand the most extreme environments required for space travel, and to help design materials to enable the inter-solar-system highways of the future.

Meeting Recording:

Time: June 23rd, 2022, 7:00 am - 8:30 am PST


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