ESP Biography



PHILLIP CUNIO, ESP Teacher




Major: Aeronautics and Astronautics

College/Employer: MIT

Year of Graduation: G

Picture of Phillip Cunio

Brief Biographical Sketch:

I'm a graduate student in the Aeronautics and Astronautics department who grew up on Florida's Space Coast. My research interests include life support systems, human space exploration, and near-Earth space operations.



Past Classes

  (Look at the class archive for more.)


Introduction to Orbital Debris Removal in Splash! 2011 (Nov. 19 - 20, 2011)
This course will describe the nature of orbital debris and detail the growing problem for operations in Earth orbit that it represents. The mechanics of orbits and the nature of debris creation will be discussed, and notable examples of orbital debris and orbital debris mitigation will be mentioned. The course will close with a survey of feasible methods to remove debris from orbit, and students will break into small groups to brainstorm and create concepts to implement these methods. Students will be encouraged to share interesting concepts or key insights with the rest of the class.


Hands-On Aerospace Systems Engineering in Splash! 2011 (Nov. 19 - 20, 2011)
This class will provide a quick introduction to aerospace systems, including some historical examples. Students will then split into groups to complete their own aerospace engineering systems development project, carrying through from concept to testing and final fabrication. After evaluation of the produced aerospace systems, there will be additional class discussion of lessons learned, with additional perspective provided by lessons from an ongoing systems development project in MIT's Department of Aeronautics and Astronautics.


Hands-on Introduction to Space Systems Engineering in Spark! 2010 (Mar. 13, 2010)
This course will provide a quick theoretical discussion of space systems engineering as practiced in vehicle development projects, and then follow this with a presentation about an actual ongoing vehicle development project at MIT. The course will conclude with a brief tour of the lab where the vehicle is being developed, and, if possible, a demonstration of the vehicle.


Designing a One-Way Mission to Mars Seminar in Splash! 2009 (Nov. 21 - 22, 2009)
This course will create a group design for a one-way mission to Mars, intended to found a permanent colony. I will guide students through key decisions in the design process to create a final mission profile, teaching about the potential options for the choices and about the reasons the choices must be made as we go. Students should bring creative ideas and a willingness to discuss in groups or as a class.


Orbital Mechanics Zero in Splash! 2008 (Nov. 22 - 23, 2008)
This class covers the basics of astrodynamics - how things move in space around the Earth and between planets. It is not a chemistry course, although students of chemistry are welcome.


One-Way Missions to Mars in Splash! 2008 (Nov. 22 - 23, 2008)
This class is a seminar on permanent colonization of Mars. Some background will be presented, and then students will break up into discussion groups and try to identify and propose solutions for issues related to the topic. I taught this class last year, with some very intriguing results, and look forward to seeing what creativity emerges this year.


Using Scratch to simulate the real world in Splash! 2008 (Nov. 22 - 23, 2008)
This class will use the Scratch software (developed by MIT's Media Lab) as the focus of a short introduction to coding , logic, and modeling complex systems.


Space Exploration and Education Discussion Seminar in Splash! 2008 (Nov. 22 - 23, 2008)
Have any thoughts on learning about space travel? How space travel can be used to teach science and math? Ever wanted to talk about rocket science in terms of everything that's not rocket science? Ever wondered how somebody ends up studying rocket science? Want to learn more about studying rocket science at MIT? Come to this class and we'll chat.


One-Way Missions to Mars in SPLASH (2007)
This class will discuss some concepts for crewed Mars missions, and will detail some of the arguments for one-way trips ...


Orbital Mechanics Zero in SPLASH (2007)
This class will discuss some of the basic concepts underlying orbital mechanics, leaving most of the more rigorous mathematics aside ...


Kinematical and Mathematical Analysis of Anime and Video in SPLASH (2006)
This class will use brief clips from anime, video, and similar sources to discuss how observation of motion can reveal ...