|President Kelley takes part in first news conference on Cirrus partnership|
Cirrus Design Corp. will host a press conference at its Grand Forks plant at 10 a.m. Wednesday, July 2, detailing the beginning of construction of a horizontal space-flight simulator to be used by the John D. Odegard School of Aerospace Sciences. The news conference will be the first for Robert Kelley as UND’s 11th president. The Cirrus Design Corp. is located at 1400 48th St. S.
When operational, the simulator will give North Dakota students and select visitors the opportunity to use software that simulates a spaceflight by either a NASA space shuttle, an X-15 or the pioneering personal commercial spacecraft, SpaceShipOne. UND students and Cirrus professionals were involved in the construction of the simulator, whose design was based on the personal commercial spaceflight Ansari X-Prize winner.
“Aside from working on a project in the field of aerospace, and the obvious excitement from helping replicate a design that won the X-Prize, the project has allowed both Cirrus and UND an opportunity to showcase our respective talents,” said Tom Haggy, director, Grand Forks Operations for Cirrus Design Corporation.
The principal investigator for the simulator’s construction, UND Space Studies research associate Pablo de Leon, said, “UND would be the only university with this combination of simulation software packages. This opportunity will pave the way for UND to have training for private spaceflight crews in the future.”
The project was funded in part by the North Dakota Space Grant Consortium. Suezette Bieri, deputy director of North Dakota Space Grant Consortium, said, “Cirrus agreed to give work space, expertise and materials to help us construct the simulator, which will be the first horizontal simulator made like SpaceShipOne in a university.”
Students involved in the project included Emily Chwialkowski, a UND Space Studies graduate student, and Luke Sandbeck-Moriarty and Tyler Jacobson, both UND undergraduate engineering students.
Both the media and the general public are invited to attend.