Marquise Bell, a doctoral student in mechanical engineering (MECH) at Rice University, has received a NASA Space Technology Graduate Research Opportunities (NSTGRO) Fellowship to develop textiles for use in advanced spacesuits.
The $80,000, one-year fellowship can be renewed for up to four years, with a potential funding total of $320,000. Bell’s proposal is titled “Multifunctional Composite Textile Materials for Advanced Spacesuits.”
“My work,” Bell said, “will focus on decreasing the weight and number of material layers in current spacesuit designs while integrating multifunctionality into the spacesuit materials to assist with life support systems and body movements in space.”
As part of the NSTGRO fellowship, Bell will spend 10 weeks working at NASA’s John H. Glenn Research Center in Cleveland.
“The work consists of integrating low-profile, wearable sensing components, heating and cooling elements, and actuation mechanisms,” Bell said, “while decreasing the overall weight of the spacesuit. That combination will improve the health, wellness, and mobility of astronauts.”
Bell earned his B.S. in MECH from Baylor University in 2020 and joined the Preston Innovation Laboratory, headed by Dan Preston, assistant professor of MECH. Last year, Bell was named an associate fellow of the National GEM (Graduate Education for Minorities) Consortium.