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Grant Will Aid U of M Professors in Research Related to Distant Space Missions University News
For release: July 29, 2010

For press information, contact Curt Guenther, 901/678-2843

Two University of Memphis professors have been awarded almost $300,000 for their research into materials that would be suitable for use in long-term, distant space missions.

Dr. Jeffrey Marchetta and Dr. Firouzeh Sabri were awarded the highly competitive grant for a three-year period. Their research is investigating the potential of a polymer-based liquid cryogenic container that could be used for long-term space missions to distant destinations.

They will collaborate with other scientists and engineers from the Marshall Space Flight Center, the Kennedy Space Center, and NASA Glenn to test prototypes of models developed on the University of Memphis campus. The pair’s research will also involve students, who will have the opportunity to visit the NASA test centers and work with NASA personnel.

Dr. Marchetta is an associate professor of mechanical engineering, and Dr. Sabri is an assistant professor of physics. Dr. Sabri holds a doctorate from Cavendish Labs, University of Cambridge, United Kingdom; she joined the U of M faculty in 2007. Her research was put to practical use with a Mars lander in 2008, and that same year she was one of three women in nation to receive the H. Hildred Blewett Scholarship from the American Physical Society. Dr. Marchetta earned his Ph.D. degree from the University of Memphis in 2002 and joined the faculty shortly afterward. He has done research at the Los Alamos National Laboratory, and he currently serves on the Microgravity and Space Processes Technical Committee of the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics (AIAA).

The $296,394 grant comes from the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) and the National Science Foundation Experimental Program to Stimulate Competitive Research (EPSCOR).

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