Wednesday Spring and GCPS Joint Luncheon

Wednesday, April 29, 2015, 11:45am-1:30pm CDT
11th GCPS Luncheon
11th GCPS Luncheon

Join Al Sacco at the first ever joint Spring Meeting and GCPS Luncheon on Wednesday.

You Think you Have Safety Concerns! The Flight of STS-73

Al Sacco, Dean of Engineering, Texas Tech University

What is it like to sit on seven and one half million pounds of thrust, go from zero velocity to just under 5 miles per second in 8.5 minutes? Or looking at it another way, how does it feel riding a chemical reactor with ¼” aluminum walls, burning liquid hydrogen and liquid oxygen at 3000 gallons per second for ~ 8.5 minutes and with two additional reactors (solid rocket boosters) each burning at 1000 pound per second a mixture of aluminum powder, aluminum perchlorate powder, and a trace amount of iron oxide as the catalyst all neatly packaged in a polymer binder for ~3 minutes or until empty?

Let me add, all three reactors burning adiabatically with little to no control! Followed by living and working for 16 days in a ¼” aluminum shell surrounded by a 10-6 torr vacuum with no means of escape if fire occurs while traveling at 17,596 mi/hr. Oh yes, least I forget, being assigned to grow an HIV protein for structural determination! Anecdotal stories will discuss the safety training, processes, and attitude put into practice in our manned space program. Why would a scientist risk his life to do science in space, what was done, what do the results show. Was it worth the risk? Take a trip on the space shuttle Columbia. Spend sixteen days in low earth orbit doing science in the areas of crystal growth, combustion, fluid physics, biotechnology and earth observations. A visual tour of traveling into space will be given along with an explanation on why these activities should be of interest to you.

*This is a ticketed event and available to bundle registrants only.*

Al Sacco

Professor Sacco received a B.S. in Chemical Engineering from Northeastern University; and a PhD in Chemical Engineering from MIT. He was appointed and served as the George A. Snell Distinguished Professor of Chemical Engineering at Northeastern University from 1997-2010 when he became the Dean of the Whitacre College of Engineering in 2011. From 1978-1997 he was a tenured professor at WPI and was Department Head from 1989-1997. He flew on the space shuttle Columbia in 1995, conducting 200 experiments for 130 scientists.Read more