|Prof. Mitchell L. R. Walker|
Prof. Mitchell L. R. Walker was one of five expert panelists invited to explore the future of space propulsion systems at the inaugural John Glenn Memorial Symposium, hosted by the NASA Glenn Research Center and the American Astronautical Society July 10-12.
The title of the three-day symposium, "Powering Innovation from the Sky to the Stars" attracted a broad range of space entrepreneurs, researchers, and academics - all of them with ideas for pushing space exploration forward.
"This symposium really underscored the importance of NASA Glenn's research mission -- the backbone of our country's space program," said Walker. "In my area of research, I am inspired by NASA Glenn's collaborations with industry to develop a high-powered Hall Thrusters that will, eventually, power the Deep Space Gateway program that will open up new opportunities for exploration."
Walker said he was also excited about research collaborations with industry that are developing low-power electric propulsion devices that will, eventually, provide the foundation for global internet access.
"It's clear to me that electric propulsion has become the baseline from which researchers and industry are envisioning the future of space exploration," he said. "And the good news is: we are developing some of the smartest young minds to take up that challenge. There's no shortage of initiative at Tech."
Joining Walker on the Space Propulsion panel was NASA Glenn's Trudy Kortes, former astronaut Franklin Chang Diaz, BWX Technologies's Jonathan Cirtain, and Aerojet Rocketdyne's Jim Maser.
Space Propulsion Proponents. From left, Jonathan Cirtain, Franklin Chang Diaz, Mitchell Walker, Jim Maser, Trudy Kortes