Missouri S&T organizes earth and space conference

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On April 1, 2016

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The final frontier is closer than it appears; it’s in Florida in less than two weeks.

Missouri University of Science and Technology is the organizer of the American Society of Civil Engineer’s Aerospace Division bi-annual Earth and Space Conference April 11-15 in Orlando, Florida.

The event for the planetary surface construction community attracts a multi-disciplinary audience from around the world. Over 130 papers were peer reviewed for acceptance, presentation and inclusion into the online proceedings. Conference attendees will hear high-quality presentations and will have opportunities to network with experts and leaders in construction, civil engineering, architecture, aerospace engineering, in-situ resource utilization, planetary science and other fields.

Highlights include presentations on the moon, Mars and Pluto; discussions about extra-terrestrial destinations and how to pioneer them; and terrestrial challenges in civil engineering and how Earth and Space can have mutual benefits.

This is the 15th conference since its inception in 1988. Missouri S&T’s distance and continuing education became the conference organizers in 2014.

“S&T is proud to support the ASCE and this conference; it mirrors our engineering disciplines and brings together experts from around the world to collaborate and discuss ‘engineering for extreme environments,’ ” says Sue Turner, director of distance and continuing education at Missouri S&T.

Dr. Leslie Gertsch, associate professor of geosciences and geological and petroleum engineering at Missouri S&T and Dr. Michael Moats, associate professor of metallurgical engineering at Missouri S&T, are instructors in the pre-conference short course “Space Mining and Planetary Surface Construction.” Gertsch is also co-author for research papers that will be presented titled “Optical Mining Subscale Testing” and “A Coordinated Research Program to Develop the Technology to Optical Mine Asteroids.”

On Tuesday, April 12, teams from 3D-Printed Habitat Challenge — which is part of NASA’s Centennial Challenges — will display their models and posters during the conference reception.

In conjunction with the conference, Students for the Exploration and Development of Space (SEDS) from the University of Central Florida are hosting a Yuri’s Night event. Yuri’s Night parties and events are held around the world every April in commemoration of Yuri Gagarin becoming the first human to venture into space on April 12, 1961 — and the space shuttle’s inaugural launch on April 12, 1981. Costumes are highly encouraged.

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