Merel Vergaaij wins award for Masters thesis

SET PhD researcher Merel Vergaaij won the third Heinz Stoewer Space Award for her Master thesis on “Time-optimal solar-sail transfers from Earth to pole-sitters at Mars and Venus” at TU Delft, supervised by Dr Jeannette Hiligers.

The prize is awarded on an annual basis to an MSc student or young graduate of the Faculty of Aerospace Engineering for a master thesis in the space domain.

For her thesis, Merel used novel tools and techniques from astrodynamics to design transfers from a parking orbit around Earth to pole-sitter locations at Venus at Mars. She proved that such transfers are achievable using solar-sail propulsion.

Merel Vergaaij is now researching into the economics of asteroid resource exploitation.

Merel Vergaaij wins Heinz Stoewer Space Award 2020

First published: 28 April 2020