NASA is using the Internet to show students and the general public what airplane designers do. The agency has created an electronic site, called Aero Design Team Online, at http://quest.arc.nasa.gov/ano/index-new.html. There NASA demonstrates how aeronautical engineers use airplane models, wind tunnels, supercomputers, simulators, and other tools during the airplane design cycle. The project continues through May, although plans are underway to extend it into summer. "We're teaching about airplane design through the lives of people who are doing the work," says Susan Lee of NASA's Ames Research Center, Moffett Field, CA. "For example, we're following a wind tunnel test of a model of a future supersonic airliner," she explains. Students can ask questions through e-mail and participate in Internet chats with engineers from teams that design and test airplanes. An aim of Aero Design Team Online is to inspire students to pursue high-tech careers.
In a line of ultra-futuristic projects, DARPA is developing a brain microchip that will help heal the bodies and minds of soldiers. A final product is far off, but preliminary chips are already being tested.
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