On Sept. 27, 2011, NASA Explorer Schools held a live video chat with Larry Dungan. Dungan is the Active Response Gravity Offload System project manager and design engineer at NASA's Johnson Space Center, in Houston, Texas. Dungan coordinates the mechanical and electrical designs of the ARGOS project including all human testing.
Dungan answered questions about how NASA creates moon, Mars and microgravity environments on Earth for research using an overhead crane system called Active Response Gravity Offload System, or ARGOS. ARGOS continuously offsets a portion of a human test subject's weight during walking, running and jumping, simulating gravity environments of the moon, Mars or space. ARGOS is in its second generation of design, and is under development for the third generation. It is intended to support testing, development and training for future missions to the moon, Mars or any other destination.
ARGOS supports surface operations studies, suit and vehicle requirements development and design evaluation, and training with both suited and shirt-sleeved participants. ARGOS can offload the weight of rovers and robots for testing them in simulated reduced-gravity environments. ARGOS is the only project in the world doing bipedal walking robotics in reduced-gravity environments. Dungan will share why mathematics, from algebra to calculus, and science are critical components of the day-to-day design, testing and development of ARGOS. Dungan will answer your questions about an engineering design career with NASA and the ARGOS project.
› ARGOS Website