Enter the Dragon: The SpaceX COTS Missions
Speaker: Andrew Howard, Space Exploration Technologies
Date: Thursday, November 15 2012
Time: 4:00PM to 5:30PM
Host: Daniela Rus, CSAIL
Contact: Colleen Russell, 3-0145, email@example.com
In May 2012, a SpaceX Dragon spacecraft berthed with the International Space Station, thus completing the second of two demonstrations missions for NASA and opening the door to regular commercial resupply services to the ISS. In this talk, I will describe the COTS demonstration missions and the technologies that made them possible, including the Falcon 9 launcher, Dragon spacecraft and DragonEye proximity navigation system. Equally important, I will discuss some of the organizational, cultural and contractual changes that are allowing companies like SpaceX to deliver -- at a radically reduced cost -- services that have previously been the exclusive preserve of national governments.
Dr. Howard is Senior Guidance, Navigation and Control Engineer at Space Exploration Technologies and designer of the DragonEye proximity navigation system. Previously, he was a Senior Member of Technical Staff at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory, where he worked on vision-based navigation for a wide variety of projects, including Boston Dynamics' BigDog and the DARPA Crusher UGCV. Prior to joining JPL, Dr. Howard was a Research Assistant Professor at the University of Southern California Robotics Research Laboratory. Dr. Howard is a graduate of the University of Melbourne, with a degree in theoretical physics and PhD in computer science.
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