Down to Earth: Astronaut talks with engineering students about trip to space

The last time Steve Swanson chatted with Colorado State University students and “visited” campus he was 205 miles above the Earth at the International Space Station. The NASA astronaut conducted a live, interactive chat with students in April, sporting CSU gear and holding a Cam the Ram bobble head doll. space chat 2 Swanson returned to Earth in September. He stopped by CSU on October 4 to visit his son and talk to students in a beginning engineering course about NASA and his five-month stint in space. “This is an opportunity you don’t get very often so take advantage of it,” Tom Siller, a professor of civil and environmental engineering and one of the course instructors, told students. The astronaut, who has made three trips to space, talked briefly and then fielded questions for the next 40 minutes. Here are some questions students asked Swanson and his answers: What kind of work did you do at the International Space Station? My main job was to do science. It is basically a national laboratory. There are about 170 experiments aboard. I wasn’t the principal investigator but I worked on experiments and kept the space station running. I spent 40 percent of my time on the science, 40 percent maintaining the ship and 20 percent of my time working out and staying in shape. Ten years ago, people didn’t work out while in space and it took them much longer to recover when they returned. What is it like to be in zero gravity? Steve in Space It’s actually really fun and one of the best parts about being in space. It never gets old doing a flip off the wall. But it does make it hard to do work. You have to learn that you can’t just set your tools on a workbench until you need them. They float away after a few seconds. You learn to tape them down and store them so they don’t float away. How is the food in space? The food in space has to have a shelf life of four years so that sh ould tell you a lot. It doesn’t have much flavor but if you put enough sriracha sauce on it, you can eat it. Am I happy to be home and eating regular food? Yes. How did you feel when you got back? The landings are like being in a car crash, but you are in a seat that is molded to your body. It’s not a soft landing. Once we landed, the first guy got out and then I had to move over and pull myself up for the first time in five and a half months. The first day I was very wobbly because it was my first time walking in a while.  Once I got to Houston, I underwent eight hours of testing where doctors took blood and biopsied my muscles. Eight days after landing, I was back to my pre-flight levels.

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Lectures on cyber security by Ravi Sandhu Sept. 15-16

Ravi Sandhu, executive director of the Institute for Cyber Security at the University of Texas at San Antonio, will present two lectures on Sept. 15 and 16 on the Colorado State University campus. The lectures are the semester’s first in the Information Science and Technology Center (ISTeC) Distinguished Lecture series. Sandhu’s talks are presented in conjunction with the departments of Electrical and Computer Engineering and Computer Science. [caption id="attachment_2165" align="alignright" width="300"]Ravi Sandhu Ravi Sandhu, executive director of the Institute for Cyber Security, University of Texas San Antonio.[/caption] The first, on Monday, Sept. 15, will be on the topic of “Security and Trust Convergence: Attributes, Relations and Provenance.” A reception with refreshments will begin at 10:30 a.m. in the Lory Student Center Grey Rock Room; the hour-long lecture starts at 11 a.m. This talk will lay out a vision for the concepts of security and trust, which need to converge to address the cyber security needs of emerging systems. Sandhu will discuss some research and technology challenges and opportunities to achieve meaningful cyber security. Special Seminar On Tuesday, Sept. 16, 2–3 p.m., Sandhu will present a Special Seminar on the “Attribute-Based Access Control Model” in Room 325 of the Computer Science Building. This talk will review recent developments in attribute-based access control (ABAC). The ongoing authorization leap from rights to attributes offers numerous compelling benefits as well as risks. The cyber security research community has a responsibility to develop models, theories and systems which enable safe and chaos-free deployment of ABAC. About Ravi Sandhu Sandhu holds the Lutcher Brown Endowed Chair in Cyber Security at UT San Antonio, and was previously on the faculty at George Mason University and Ohio State University. He holds BTech and MTech degrees from IIT Bombay and Delhi, and MS and Ph.D. degrees from Rutgers University. He is a fellow of IEEE, ACM and AAAS, a prolific and highly cited author, and holder of 29 security technology patents. He is editor-in-chief of the IEEE Transactions on Dependable and Secure Computing, and founding General Chair of the ACM Conference on Data and Application Security and Privacy. ISTeC is a university-wide organization for promoting, facilitating, and enhancing CSU’s research, education, and outreach activities pertaining to the design and innovative application of computer, communication, and information systems. For more information about these Distinguished Lecture presentations, contact Indrajit Ray in the Computer Science department, 970-491-7097.

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