NASA research scientist Geoff Landis discusses future of space exploration missions

A distinguished NASA research scientist spoke at the College of Engineering on Monday to give insight into aeronautics, engineering and the research he has been conducting in the Glenn Research Center in Cleveland, Ohio.

Geoff Landis has been working with the NASA Innovative Advanced Concepts office in Cleveland on different materials and technologies that will aid NASA missions in the future. He said that much of their work will help shape future space exploration.

“It’s all speculative designs for missions in the future,” he said. “We’re talking about the generation [of missions] that will reach out into the solar system and explore some pretty extreme environments.”

The event was hosted by the American Institute for Aeronautics and Astronautics (AIAA) at the University of Miami.

“Dr. Landis gave a wonderful talk with information for students into not only his research, but a taste of the eccentricities of working in a NASA center and insight into life after undergrad,” said Shayna Hume, a student and president of the the AIAA chapter at UM.

His presentation gave students a general view of what spacecraft engineering is like, what considerations are involved in the process and how scientists and engineers go about designing and building spacecraft.

“There are so many different thousands of things that engineers do,” Landis said. “It’s almost hard to get a full understanding of the spectrum of what scientists and engineers do.”

Aside from Landis’s research and his contribution to the Mars Pathfinder Mission in the past, he is also a science fiction author, winning awards for such titles as “Mars Crossing” and “A Walk in the Sun.”