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NASA Speaker Series: Controlling the Uncontrollable

NASA has landed in Cupertino for a year-long speaker series aimed at educating, motivating, and entertaining the community. The second event will be held on February 19 from 4:00 to 6:00 p.m. at Community Hall, 10350 Torre Avenue.
The state of the art for entry spacecraft, such as the Apollo capsule, utilizes Reaction Control System (RCS) thrusters for steering. These thrusters are typically mounted on the backshells of the spacecraft to maneuver them during atmospheric entry. Deployable Entry Vehicles (DEVs), a new class of entry spacecraft, have no backshell. Thus, mounting RCS thrusters is a non-trivial challenge.
Dr. Wendy A. Okolo, an aerospace research engineer at NASA Ames Research Center, will present her efforts on the “Pterodactyl” project to develop the control techniques that will make maneuvering and precision landing of DEVs a reality.


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