For Jose Mari Tuason, rocket science can be fun.
In fact, Tuason won the first National Aeronautics and Space Administration’s (NASA) first Breakthrough, Innovative and Game-changing (BIG) Idea Challenge together with his teammates from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.
According to the NASA website, “the challenge asked them to examine unique ways of leveraging inflatable entry vehicle technology to help guide the spacecraft as it descends through a planetary atmosphere.”
In a nutshell, they were asked for innovative ideas using Hypersonic Inflatable Aerodynamic Decelerator (HIAD) technology. The project will benefit future Mars missions by providing additional mission flexibility.
Tuason and his teammates had to defend their idea at a design review in NASA’s Langley Research Center last Monday, Apr 25.
Their team bested the representatives from Georgia Tech, The State University of New York at Buffalo, and Purdue University.
On his Facebook post, Tuason expressed his surprise over their team’s win.