Plotting optimal paths for interplanetary spacecraft? It's just plain old high school science.
We'll talk with one student who excelled in the Intel Science Talent Search, which concluded this week. Erika DeBenedictis, age 18, won top honors (and $100,000) for her work on an original optimizing search algorithm for spacecraft that discovers energy minimizing routes in specified regions of space. The work would allow a spacecraft to adjust its flight path en route to take advantage of the most energy-efficient route. We'll chat with her about her project.