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Matt Glascock, an aerospace engineering Ph.D. student, has received the NASA Space Technology Research Fellowship out of NASA’s Space Technology Mission Directorate. This fellowship is very prestigious and is awarded to outstanding graduate students to create innovative new technologies beneficial to space exploration and the understanding of space. Matt’s research for the fellowship will be testing microthrusters that can be integrated into small satellites will give the capability to maneuver, which is a feature that these spacecraft have been lacking. While the majority of the research will be done in the AP (Aerospace Plasma) laboratory at Missouri S&T, he will also be taking multiple trips to NASA Marshall Space Flight Center, Glenn Research Center, or Jet Propulsion Laboratory as well as back to Reno, Nevada with Digital Solid State Propulsion.
Matt started his love of Aerospace back when he was a kid, building spaceships of all kinds out of LEGO blocks. Ever since he could remember, he had told his mom that he wanted to work at NASA and now he is about to do that for the next 4 years under this fellowship. He is in love with the idea that he is a “rocket scientist” with small town Missouri roots. His mom tells everyone she sees that her son is working for NASA, with much pride. Matt received his bachelors of science in Aerospace Engineering in May of 2014. In his junior year of his undergraduate program, he got involved in Dr. Rovey’s AP lab, by doing research on a project which led to working during his senior year on a NASA Innovative Advanced Concepts project (NIAC). After graduating, he worked at NASA Marshall Space Flight Center on a summer internship and upon his return and entering the Ph.D. program he began working with Dr. Rovey, who is partnering with Digital Solid State Propulsion (DSSP). DSSP is a small company out of Reno, Nevada and Matt is currently interning with them during the summer of 2015.
The NASA Fellowship starts in the Fall of 2015 and will continue throughout the next 3-4 years. The fellowship covers all tuition/fees and a generous stipend. He will be continuing to work on his research on the characterization of DSSP’s Electric Solid Propellant Microthrusters, and will move in the direction of thrust measurements and the in-depth development of these thrusters as a new technology for spacecraft propulsion.
After graduating with his Ph.D., Matt would like to continue space propulsion technology research in the field, either with the government (NASA) or in the private industry (DSSP).