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Saturday, January 14, 2012

Mountain Empire Community College to Host Pre-ISS Downlink Lectures Wed., Jan. 25th

Mountain Empire Community College will host a pre-International Space Station downlink gathering on Wednesday, January 25, 2012 at the Goodlow Center on the Big Stone Gap, Virginia campus from 10 AM to 12:30 PM featuring Robonaut-2 software engineer Adam Sanders and NASA Langley mechanical engineer Amanda Cutright.

Sanders, a native of Big Stone Gap and 2006 University of Virginia graduate, will discuss his work at General Motors supporting Robonaut-2 during its development by NASA in Houston, Texas.  He worked as “the lead architect for the human-machine interface and task programming language." He previously served as "the principal engineer for the power distribution monitoring and control hardware, firmware, and software for the robot.” R2 has been aboard the International Space Station since being launched on a space shuttle last year. Sanders now is the lead software architect at Euclid Innovations.

Cutright, a native of Hampton, will discuss her work at the NASA Langley Research Center relating to the Hypersonic Inflatable Aerodynamic Decelerator (HIAD) and Inflatable Reentry Vehicle Experiment (IRVE 3) projects being developed to land spacecraft on Mars.  She transferred to the "space brakes" project after having previously worked on the NASA Multi-Purpose Crew Vehicle (Orion).  Cartright, a graduate of Virginia Tech and Old Dominion University, has been honored for her advanced mechanical engineering work at NASA.

The Mountain Empire Community College-sponsored event will precede the International Space Station live in-flight downlink starting at the University of Virginia's College at Wise convocation center beginning at 9 AM, Thursday, January 26, 2012. The event will feature NASA Associate Administrator Leland Melvin and the first private female space explorer, Anousheh Ansari.

Hypersonic Inflatable Aerodynamic Decelerator (HIAD) animation.

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