PROFESSOR OF ASTRONAUTICS UNIVERSITY OF SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA
Keynote speaker category: Technology, The Future, Innovation, Science Keynote speaker topics: The Human Exploration of Mars, From Flying Cars to Humans on Mars - The Future of Transportation.
DR ANITA SENGUPTA
Dr. Anita Sengupta is a rocket scientist and veteran of the space program who for the past 20 years has been developing spacecraft technologies that have enabled the exploration of Mars, Asteroids, and Deep Space.
She started her career working on the launch vehicles and communications satellites at Boeing. Her doctoral research took her to NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory, where she focused on the development of the ion engines that powered the Dawn spacecraft to reach Vesta and Ceres in the main asteroid belt. She was then responsible for the supersonic parachute system that was integral to the landing of NASA’s Curiosity Rover on Mars. Her last role at NASA was leading the development of the Cold Atom Laboratory, a laser-cooling quantum physics facility that launched in 2018 to the International Space Station, quite literally creating the coldest spot in the known universe.
She then decided to join the commercial space private sector, to bring space age technology down to Earth. She led the system architecture of the world first operational hyperloop, as a Senior Vice President of Virgin Hyperloop One. Her latest venture is as an aerospace entrepreneur where she is co-founder and chief product officer of Airspace Experience Technologies, an urban air mobility company that is developing a new generation of VTOL electric aircraft, for the smart cities of tomorrow. With her wealth of knowledge as a Research Professor at the University of Southern California, Aerospace executive, and private pilot, Dr. Sengupta shares her expertise and perspectives on everything from flying cars to humans on mars, as a world-renowned science communicator. Dr. Sengupta received her MS and PhD in Aerospace Engineering from the University of Southern California. In her spare time she is an avid pilot, motorcyclist, scuba diver, mountain bike, public speaker, and STEM advocate
TOPICS The Human Exploration of Mars Mars is the next destination for humans to explore and colonize in our journey through the solar system and beyond. For the past thirty years, the space programs of many nations have been sending robotic landed platforms of increasing complexity, revealing the Red Planet’s ancient past. One of the most challenging aspects of sending humans to Mars is the safe landing on the surface, from an initial entry speed of 30,000 miles per hour to a soft touchdown. During the descent to the surface, humans must be protected from extreme temperatures and G-forces by complex engineered systems. On the surface future explorers must be able to survive surface radiation and low pressures, with only the limited resources they can bring with them. This talk will discuss the motivation for Mars exploration and how engineering challenges are tackled with cutting-edge technologies, in situ resource utilization, and out-of-the-box thinking. Engineering the Red Planet is the key to our future and understanding our past. From Flying Cars to Humans on Mars - The Future of Transportation In the global marketplace that transfers knowledge at the speed of light, we have a massive time delay that is modern transportation methods. We each spend up to 30% of our lives commuting on congested freeways, airports, and train stations. We put green-house gases into the atmosphere and change our climate with global consequences to health, habitat loss, and our economic future. On the cargo front this results in lost revenue, productivity, with no clear path to address the growing demands of the global market place. What if we could disrupt transportation, an aging and non-agile industry which has not seen a new mode in over 100 years. By introducing game changing technologies we can increase capacity, enhance energy efficiency, and shrink our carbon foot print. Dr. Sengupta will discuss how space-age tech coupled to the VC funded innovation environment are enabling the revolution in green transportation. She will share her real-world engineering projects from her work developing the world’s first Hyperloop in Las Vegas Nevada, to autonomous VTOL air taxis her new company is designing in Detroit Michigan, to her research on entry systems that will land the first humans on Mars.
Associate Professor of Astronautics and Space Technology, University of Southern California
Chief Product Officer and Co-Founder, Airspace Experience Technologies (ASX)