BY NAROD EKMEKJIAN
Dr. Nahum Melamed, Project Leader in the Embedded Control Systems Department in the Guidance and Control Subdivision, and Vahe Manuelian, Senior Project Engineer from The Aerospace Corporation on November 2 visited Armenian Mesrobian School’s students. Dr. Melamed’s and Mr. Manuelian’s purpose was to provide a glimpse into the field of aerospace engineering, simultaneously shedding light to an issue it addresses–the dangers of space debris. Their aim was to familiarize Mesrobian students with this subject and spark an interest in many young minds, ultimately working towards resolving the challenges of space debris.
Dr. Melamed’s presentation on the dangers of space debris comprised a variety of topics. Providing a myriad of pictures and demonstrations, he began by highlighting the dangers of man-made space junk such as rocket components and broken satellites, emphasizing their potential to destroy functioning satellites, GPS systems, weather communications, and many more. While many discoveries and inventions have provided vital solutions for space, he stressed the increasing need for bright young minds to find innovative solutions to this challenge. Furthermore, he discussed how students not inclined towards STEAM related subjects can also contribute to solving this problem through policy making, noting the United Nations’ efforts through the United Nations Office for Outer Space Affairs.
Dr. Melamed concluded his informative segment by providing space facts and underscored the issue of natural space junk such as asteroids, using the Meteor Impact Crater site as an example for their power to cause damage on the ground. However, curiosity and interest did not cease at the conclusion of Dr. Melamed’s speech, where numerous students left with newfound interests and excitement about this subject. An inspired 10th grader stated, “Actually seeing the impact of space junk on our current environment and community really made me interested in the subject.” Curiosity displayed by such students shows us that Dr. Melamed achieved his goal of introducing the topics of space junk and aerospace engineering to the students of Mesrobian.
Dr. Melamed’s and Mr. Manuelian’s presence at Mesrobian proved to be mutually positive. For one, Mesrobian gained valuable information about the issue of space debris, which sparked interest in curious students who had not previously shown any interest in the subject. The outcomes of this assembly can also be considered positive for Dr. Melamed and Mr. Manuelian. Having ignited interest in curious minds, many Mesrobian students are now encouraged to enter the field of aerospace, ultimately creating solutions to this and other issues. It is evident that with this newfound interest throughout the students of Mesrobian, the field of aerospace engineering has gained brilliant new minds to slowly help make the issue of space debris a thing of the past.