In space travel, people usually think that the more powerful the rocket, the further you can go. Well, Gary thinks a little bit differently. Turns out, there are some very weak rockets out there that can do unexpected things that we can barely imagine.
Gary Li is a third year Ph.D. candidate majoring in Aerospace Engineering at UCLA. As a National Defense Science and Engineering Graduate Fellow, he conducts research on miniature ion thrusters in the UCLA Plasma and Space Propulsion Lab in order to enhance the capabilities of future space missions. He has also performed research on advanced plasma thrusters at both the NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory and the Air Force Research Lab. His passion for space exploration led him to co-found the Space Exploration Society at Berkeley when he was an undergraduate studying astrophysics and physics at UC Berkeley. To spread awareness of plasma rocket technology, he has presented his research in the Grand Slam, winning 1st place at UCLA and 3rd place in the UC-wide competition, and has published a popular science article that has been featured on BusinessInsider and space.com.