Winners of European Space Agency Masters Competition complete week-long visit to Huntsville, Ala.

L to R: Linda Raimondo, Mattia Barbarossa and Lucia Cape in front of the Wernher von Braun exhibit at the U.S. Space & Rocket Center in Huntsville, Alabama. (Photo: Hiroko Sedensky/November 15, 2019)

Linda Raimondo and Mattia Barbarossa arrive at HSV Int'l Airport

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HUNTSVILLE, Ala. (November 15, 2019) – What would you do with a Dream Chaser®? It is the vehicle being developed by Sierra Nevada Corporation to transport crew and cargo to low-Earth orbit destinations, and there are many different ways it could be used for scientific research.

That’s the idea we pose in the annual European Space Agency’s Space Exploration Masters challenge. The Huntsville/Madison County Chamber sponsors this contest with our partners to reinforce the Rocket City’s longstanding prowess and heritage in aerospace in front of an international audience.

In the recent contest, two students from Italy wowed the judges. Mattia Barbarossa and Linda Raimondo proposed the Meteoroid Descent Module concept, which would transport valuable material, such as asteroids or regolith, from space to Earth. This week, they visited Huntsville to share their research!

Throughout the week, Barbarossa and Raimondo met with teams at NASA’s Marshall Space Flight Center, Dynetics, Teledyne Brown Engineering, United Launch Alliance, RUAG Space USA and the UAH Invention to Innovation Center (I²C). To close out the week, they visited the U.S. Space & Rocket Center and Space Camp!

The Space Exploration Masters Competition is part of Huntsville, Madison & Madison County’s initiative to apply for permitting to land the Sierra Nevada Dream Chaser at Huntsville International Airport, as we think of ways to utilize the spacecraft for commercial purposes. We partner with Astrosat, a Scottish aerospace services company, for the contest. Thank you also to Huntsville International Airport for covering the cost of round-trip airline tickets for the winners.