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Illinois alumni key to Nasa's Curiosity mission to Mars

After graduating, University alumni spread out across the state, country and globe. But now, some have even gone as far as Mars.

From dailyillini.com:

Before NASA’s Curiosity rover took a single picture of the red planet, Lynn McGrew, flight dynamics engineer at NASA’s Johnson Space Center in Houston and graduate of the 2000 undergraduate aerospace engineering program, was offering a helping hand in the mission.

McGrew created the algorithm that helped Curiosity “to very precisely target its landing site on Mars,” she said. The algorithm helped Curiosity’s landing to be more exact than previous Mars landings, and enabled NASA to land the rover at the base of a mountain inside a crater.

Curiosity, which is part of the Mars Science Laboratory mission, benefitted from the work of another aerospace engineering alumnus, Evgeniy Sklyanskiy.

Sklyanskiy, a graduate of the 2001 undergraduate and 2004 graduate aerospace engineering and applied mathematics programs, was a mission designer for the Surface Guidance Navigation and Control team at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, Calif.

Read more: http://www.dailyillini.com/m/article/2012/08/illinois-alumni-key-to-nasas-curiousity-mission-to-mars



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