Zac Manchester, assistant professor of aeronautics and astronautics, recently received NASA’s 2018 Early Career Faculty Award for Space Technology Research. The grant program honors faculty who demonstrate excellence in making science, space travel and exploration more effective, affordable and sustainable. Manchester was honored for his work in precision entry guidance methods for planetary landers.
Manchester’s research focuses on using embedded electronics and computation to build autonomous spacecraft and aircraft that are smaller, smarter and more agile. In addition to his work on entry guidance, he is the founder of the KickSat project, an effort to build the world’s smallest and lowest-cost spacecraft. One hundred of these tiny 4-gram satellites will be launched this fall as part of NASA’s ELaNa — Educational Launch of Nanosatellites — program.
NASA’s Early Career Faculty Award supports the Space Technology Research Grants Program. The goal of the program is to accelerate the development of space technologies in their initial stages to further future NASA systems and missions. Manchester joins 10 other honorees in this recognition and will receive funding for three years of research in the field.