Wednesday Spring and GCPS Joint Luncheon

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

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