Posts with tag: ‘nasa’

The Day I Decided I Need a Mentor, or How to Become a Better Engineer

“If I have seen further it is by standing on the shoulders of giants.” — Isaac Newton

One of the first tasks that I handled as a Project Manager (versus a Team Lead working with a group of specialists in a particular technical discipline) was lifting a wind tunnel model from its work stand and installing it in a calibration fixture. The calibration fixture was going to be utilized to calibrate the internal balance used to measure thrust and side forces that experimental rotors would generate during testing. I was feeling pretty good about my expanded role and felt I could handle the lift with no problems.

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To Manage, or Not to Manage, From the Perspective of a NASA Engineer

When my first engineering internship turned into a full-time job after graduation, my supervisor called me in for a chat. He wanted to talk about possible opportunities in the company, and give me some advice based on his experiences. When he asked me where I saw myself in five to six years, I told him I expected to be in management. I didn’t have the gall to say it to his face, but basically I figured I wanted his job.

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NASA Challenge seeks fresh ideas for the ISS

GrabCAD is incredibly proud to host the Handrail Clamp Assembly Challenge with NASA. NASA has been investigating 3D printing technology in space for some time now and this Challenge is another great milestone. GrabCADrs are invited to submit fresh 3d printable handrail clamp ideas for the International Space Station (ISS). I asked Niki Werkheiser, In-space Manufacturing Project Manager at NASA to reveal a bit more about the the background of this Challenge.

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How to Land on Mars – An Interview with JPL Engineer Steve Sell

A few weeks, NASA pulled off the impressive feat of landing a rover on Mars, the Mars Science Laboratory, as known as the Curiosity Rover. Its mission? To trundle about, collect soil, analyze rocks and discover whether or not Mars once supported life, or perhaps, still does. The MSL was by far the biggest object anyone had tried to land on the surface - so big that a whole new landing system had to be devised: the Skycrane. GrabCAD has a few contacts with NASA, and lucky for you we managed to get in contact with one of their Lead Engineers at the Jet Propulsion Lab in Southern California, Mr. Steven Sell.

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NASA’s Curiosity Rover to Land on Mars Shortly

If you haven't heard, NASA's Mars Science Laboratory, known as Curiosity, is slated to land on Mars on August 6th at 1:30am EST. As if designing, testing, launching, navigating and surviving the fiery plunge into Mar's atmosphere isn't hard enough, NASA has upped the ante with one of the craziest feats of Engineering.

The Curiosity Rover is the size of a small car, far too big to use an airbag landing system (as with its predecessors, Spirit and Opportunity) nor a legged landing system (as with Viking I and II). What do you? You try something new and unproven. A Sky Crane. A rocket-powered Sky Crane. A rocket-powered Sky Crane that will float above the Martian surface and lower the Curiosity Rover to the ground. If anyone could pull this off, it's the Engineers and Designers at NASA.

There will be a live feed of the landing here. For more information about the MSL, how they made it and the team behind it, go here. GrabCAD wishes the best of luck to them!