Christine Fanchiang takes multitasking to new levels, running her startup that builds small satellites for biology (“BioCubes”) while completing her Ph.D. studies in aerospace engineering sciences (graduation expected December 2015) and still having time for snowboarding, hiking, and yoga! Her research uses human performance modelling to help spacecraft designers better evaluate and analyze their designs. She notes that space travel presents a number of unique challenges including degradation of crew physiology over time, highly-restrictive mass constraints, unique and variable gravity environments, as well as psychological factors such as long-term isolation and confinement.
She says that her ARCS award has helped her build up an incredible portfolio of research during her time as a graduate student. By alleviating financial burdens, it has allowed her to strengthen her relationships with her classmates, work on exciting extracurricular projects like designing a moon base and future strategies for Mars colonization, and even start her own company. Christine adds, “I am forever indebted to the kindness and generosity of this foundation to help me achieve incredible milestones in my career and I hope one day I too can give back to the community to inspire the next generation of space pioneers, engineers, and scientists!”