Space Exploration

Space Research Takes the Stage

The Main Theatre at Wright Hall became the unlikely site of an experiment. Students in the Center for Spaceflight Research at UC Davis are working on technologies for a class of satellites that could inspect other spacecraft. In space, the light is harshly bright with no atmosphere to attenuate the sunshine, and the technology must be configured for that environment.

Aggie Engineers Design a Pathway to Mars

When NASA's Perseverence rover approached Mars on February 18, 2021, UC Davis mechanical and aerospace engineering (MAE) alumna Jessica Samuels ’99 and Sara Langberg ’16 watched particularly closely to see their hard work pay off. Perseverance, the largest and most advanced Mars rover to date, will explore the existence of water, launch history’s first extraterrestrial helicopter and serve as the first leg of a mission to collect Martian rock and soil samples and bring them to Earth.

Connecting Humans and Machines

Through the new UC Davis Center for Neuroengineering and Medicine and projects funded by NASA and the National Science Foundation (NSF), mechanical and aerospace engineering (MAE) faculty members Sanjay Joshi, Jonathon Schofield and Steve Robinson are pushing the boundaries of the developing field of neuroengineering and finding new ways for humans and machines to work together.

New Student Team Designs and Prototypes Mars Rovers

A new interdisciplinary engineering design team is setting its sights on Mars. RoveCrest brings together engineering students with backgrounds in artificial intelligence, programming, robotics and biology to design and prototype a Mars rover. Their goal is to compete in the Mars Society’s 2020 University Rover Challenge, held in annually at the Mars Desert Research Station in Utah.

Space Engineering at UC Davis

If space is the final frontier, UC Davis is taking giant leaps to reach it. With expertise in human-machine cooperation, control systems and materials under extreme conditions, the university aims to make itself a rising star in space engineering and play a crucial role in the next generation of space exploration.

New institute eyes HOME in deep space

In a significant step toward human-crewed space missions to the moon or Mars, NASA has awarded a grant of up to $15 million over five years to a new research institute led by the University of California, Davis. The HOME (Habitats Optimized for Missions of Exploration) Space Technology Research Institute will develop enabling technology for spacecraft and deep-space bases of the future.

Students design greenhouse for Mars

A student team from the UC Davis Space and Satellite Systems club was one of five university teams invited to present their plans for a Mars greenhouse at the NASA Langley Research Center last Tuesday, April 23. The UC Davis students entered the Martian Agricultural and Plant Sciences project for this year’s BIG Idea Challenge, organized by the National Institute of Aerospace in collaboration with NASA.