New Meetup: Soap Box: Dava Newman, Humans in Space @ MIT Museum

From: T.J. M.
Sent on: Friday, November 6, 2009 2:10 PM
Announcing a new Meetup for Nerd Fun - Boston!

What: Soap Box: Humans in Space @ MIT Museum

When: December 8,[masked]:00 PM

Where:
MIT Museum
265 Massachusetts Ave
Cambridge, MA 02139
[masked]

From the MIT Calendar:

"12/8/2009: Soap Box: Humans in Space

"Hear from Professor Dava Newman about new technologies, companies, and policies that are leading people back into space above low Earth orbit. Discuss the issues around space flight from national pride and scientific discovery to wealth distribution and the meaning of being human.

"6:00 p.m. - 7:30 p.m.

"Free admission, light refreshments".

Where to Meet:

T.J. Maher will be waiting outside the MIT Museum starting at 5:45 pm. We can head in at 5:50 pm, and will be trying to save seats for people who are definately coming but who are going to be late. T.J. is 5 foot 7, with short brown hair, blue eyes, a "Hello My Name is T.J." nametag, and a red MEETUP sign attached to his black messenger bag. The MIT Museum is on the outskirts of Central Square.

More about the lecture:
http://web.mit.edu/museum/programs/soapbox.html

"It?s been 40 years since humans rose above low Earth orbit. Has space exploration stalled out? Should it be abandoned? What new technologies or geopolitical realities could shift the equation? The future of human space exploration is getting started, and not just at NASA. Hear from Professor Dava Newman about new technologies, companies, and policies that are leading people back into space. Tied up in issues of national pride, scientific discovery, income disparity, and the meaning of being human, space flight is a topic on which everyone has an opinion. Share yours at Soap Box".

About the MIT Museum's "Soap Box" series:
http://web.mit.edu/museum/programs/soapbox.html

"Soap Box is an interactive series in which participants of all backgrounds converse with top MIT scientists or engineers in an informal cafe-style setting at the MIT Museum. Now in its fifth year, Soap Box is the premier public forum for discussing new technological and scientific developments at MIT".

From Dava's Faculty web page:
http://web.mit.edu/aeroastro/www/people/dnewman/bio.html

"Dava J. Newman
"Professor of Aeronautics and Astronautics and Engineering Systems
"Director of Technology and Policy Program
"MacVicar Faculty Fellow

"B.S., 1986, University of Notre Dame (Aerospace Engineering)
"S.M., 1989, MIT (Aeronautics & Astronautics)
"S.M., 1989, MIT (Technology and Policy)
"Ph.D., 1992, MIT (Aero. Biomed. Engineering)

"Research Interests
"Humans have evolved in and are optimally developed for the Earth-normal 1 G (9.8 m/s2) environment. Are the mechanics and energetic requirements of human performance across the continuum of gravity from microgravity (0 G) to lunar and Martian gravity levels (1/6 G and 3/8 G, respectively) to hypergravity (>1 G) altered from the 1 G mechanics and energetics? The multidisciplinary research effort combines aerospace bioengineering, human-in-the-loop dynamics and control modeling, biomechanics, human interface technology, life sciences, and systems analysis and design. The research studies are carried out through flight experiments, ground-based simulations, and mathematical and computer modeling. Other research efforts include advanced space suit design and navigation aids for EVA astronauts.

"Extravehicular Activity (EVA) Research
"Modeling the dynamics of human performance: To develop the computational capabilities to accurately model the complete integrated dynamic system preflight (e.g., astronaut, Orbiter, remote manipulator arm, and a spinning satellite). Quantitative analysis of humans performing extravehicular activity (EVA) and intravehicular activity (IVA) is investigated through inverse dynamics, Lagrangian techniques, and Kane's theory of dynamics.

"Dynamics and Control of Astronaut Motion
"Adaptive physiological control: Engineering control theory is applied to human physiological systems. Characterization of dynamic motion control strategies is quantified through hierarchical control strategies, vestibular and proprioceptive feedback, and musculoskeletal impedance control. Insight into adaptive mechanisms operating on these motor programs is gained by focusing in particular on the changes in control strategies resulting from exposure to microgravity. Studies include pre- and post-flight astronaut jumping performance and novel false platform experiments where subjects "fall through the floor" to elicit preprogrammed motor control strategies.

"Locomotion Modeling and Orthoses
"The objective of this project is to build walking assistive devices for the physically handicapped by combining a deep understanding of the mechanism of walking, the physiology of the human body and engineering insight. This project began with the goal of building a Powered Assistive Walking Device for Paraplegics. This device would be inconspicuously mounted on a paraplegic and have compact actuators with an adaptive control system that would allow them to walk extended periods of time. There is an extensive background of assistive walkers.

"Current work is being done on modeling of the leg, specially the ankle, and developing an adaptive Ankle Foot Orthosis (AFO), a custom-designed ankle brace to allow weakened individuals to walk normally".

Dava Newman, Wikipedia:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dava_Newman

"Dava J. Newman is Professor of Aeronautics and Astronautics and Engineering Systems at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. She is most notable for assisting NASA in developing new space activity suits, namely the Bio-Suit, which will provide pressure mechanically, rather than with pressurized gas. The suit is designed to help astronauts move around more easily than gas-filled suits allow".

Learn more here:
http://www.meetup.com/NerdFunBoston/calendar/11813306/

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