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Designed by Mississippi State’s Dr. Ed Luke, a framework of code called Loci is impacting NASA’s detection methods of potential damage during shuttle launches.

After discovering that damage from the 2003 Columbia accident was due to a flaw in the thermal protection system, NASA heightened its safety awareness efforts and began using computational fluid dynamics to provide heat predictions.

During NASA’s STS-134 Endeavour launch in 2011, tiles on the heat shield were damaged during takeoff. To determine if the craft could sustain re-entry into the Earth’s atmosphere, NASA incorporated Loci, Luke’s framework of code, into their real-time assessment of the shuttle’s damage.

LociCHEM when it was first compared to NASA’s CFD called DPLR.

LociCHEM when it was first compared to NASA’s CFD called DPLR.