The Pitt News

Pitt students reach new heights with NASA

NASA’s Student Spaceflight Experiments Program chose Pitt students Marissa Defallo and Nikolas Vostal’s aluminum corrosion experiment to fly this summer to the International Space Station onboard a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket.
February 16, 2020
When Marissa Defallo, a junior mechanical engineering major, worked at American Airlines for her engineering co-op, she spent a lot of time working with aluminum. Airplanes, as well as satellites, are made of the material because it is lightweight and flexible. When looking for an experiment to be performed onboard the space station, she instinctively began to think about the material that makes up the better part of the satellite — aluminum.

Pitt supercomputer flies high in space

A SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket carries the University of Pittsburgh NSF SHREC’s STP-H6-SSIVP supercomputer to the International Space Station at Cape Canaveral on May 4.
May 28, 2019
On Star Wars Day, May 4, in a galaxy not so far away, Pitt launched its newest supercomputer into the cosmos — marking the first time that the Pitt script logo, engraved in gold on the top of the machine, could be seen in space.

Totality in Tennessee: Pitt scientists witness, document historic eclipse

The Pitt Shadow Bandits, a team of Pitt students, faculty and staff, traveled to Tennessee to watch the total solar eclipse and test a theory about shadow bands.
August 22, 2017

As the Pitt Shadow Bandits gradually filled their weather balloon with helium, a symphony of worried gasps escaped from the crowd of spectators as they heard a loud pop and saw the balloon’s deflated...

An unparalled syzygy: Pitt team launches test balloon to prepare for eclipse

Pitt students hold up the balloon as it is being inflated by Lou Coban, an Electronics Technician at the Allegheny Observatory. (Photo by Anna Bongardino | Visual Editor)
July 18, 2017

After an intense downpour the morning of the test launch, the dark clouds parted, uncovering a bright blue sky just in time for the Pitt Shadow Bandits to release their research balloon to float up to...

Space age brought JFK, Space Research Center to Pitt

President Kennedy visited the University of Pittsbrugh in October of 1962 in the midst of the space race. Photo courtesy of Historic Pittsburgh
December 14, 2015

When Murray “Buzz” Susser enrolled in Pitt’s School of Medicine in 1962, he hoped to someday be the first doctor on the moon. An Air Force Reserve captain and former National Guard pilot, Susser...

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