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Clarkson Student Receives Further Recognition From NASA
[Photographs for newspaper use are available at http://www.clarkson.edu/news/photos/goldwater2005- bingham.jpg]
“The award is truly a great honor,” says Bingham. “It is exciting to see your idea on the drawing board in front of some of the best minds in the industry.”
Through the award, NIAC seeks to identify creative and innovative undergraduate students who have shown exceptional creativity and promise for future success in building visions of the future. The Prize, in the amount of $9,000 dollars, is intended to foster mentoring, networking, and creativity, and is a student's first opportunity to exercise responsibility in project management.
The NIAC Student Fellows Prize (NSFP), sponsored by Universities Space Research Association and managed by NIAC, was initiated in 2005 to attract students and facilitate their work. As part of its inaugural year, the program selected only five students from a broad base of applications based on how submitted ideas addressed NIAC’s proposed topics, with the purpose of finding new influences and ideas that could have future effects on the research of NIAC, ranging 10 to 40 years in the future.
Since 2003, Bingham has been working on a complete architecture for interstellar exploration by proposing a system of external acceleration stations placed throughout the solar system. With this award, he hopes to expand development of his concept, examining the feasibility of advanced propulsion systems like the MagBeam (a NIAC-funded concept) or tethers for spacecraft, ion propulsion drives for the stations themselves, and communication and navigation technologies for the system. The architecture would be useful not only for interstellar exploration but as a solar system infrastructure allowing for transportation of large payloads between, Earth, Mars, and other planets, moons and asteroids.
Along with being an NSFP winner, Bingham is also a Barry M. Goldwater Scholarship winner and was recently a crew member in the Mars Society’s Desert Research Station. He is a member of the Honors Program at Clarkson and maintains a 3.96 average.
PHOTO CAPTION (Bingham): Andrew T. Bingham, a junior mechanical and aeronautical engineering major at Clarkson University, is winner of the 2005-2006 NIAC Student Fellows Prize Award. Pictured with Bingham is his advisor, Kenneth Visser, associate professor of Mechanical and Aeronautical Engineering.