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Her imagination runs far ahead of science. Thoughts of space travel, exploration of extraterrestrial life and possible future habitats of man such as the Moon, Mars and possibly elsewhere on the solar-system, are things that have always fascinated space-ship designer and architect, Susmita Mohanty.

She holds a master's degree in industrial design from the National Institute of Design (NID), Ahmedabad and Ph.D in architecture from the Chalmers University of Technology, Sweden. The former NASA aeronautical engineer presently runs three companies located in San Fransisco, Vienna and India. She leads a team of young space professionals who build innovative future systems for space exploration and habitat. At a presentation, titled The Final Touchdown, at The American Centre, audiences will be taken through images of a space shuttle by Mohanty.

As the space shuttle Atlantis, takes its final flight in the month of July and will be grounded thereafter, her presentation will highlight and focus on the improvements for the future of spaceship designs.

Her latest fixation is that of building 'intelligent spaceships' which would be capable of thinking independently. "Other than the actual mission of research, astronauts spend more than half their time in space, repairing and servicing spaceships," says Mohanty. "It will take space travel to another level if we can build 'intelligent' ships that repair by themselves and take important decisions regarding the space mission."

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Category: Science