Kavya Manyapu

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Kavya Manyapu
Born1987/1988 (age 32–33)[1]
Alma materGeorgia Tech,


University of North Dakota

Kavya K. Manyapu is an Indian–American aerospace engineer. She is part of the Boeing team that developed the CST-100 Starliner spacecraft. She developed a fabric for self-cleaning space suits that uses carbon nanotubes to repel dust for use in future lunar and Mars missions.

Early life and career[edit]

Manyapu grew up in Hyderabad, India.[1] When she was 16, her family moved to the United States.[2] She received a bachelor's degree in Aerospace Engineering from Georgia Institute of Technology in 2006 and a master's degree in aeronautics and astronautics from MIT in 2010.[1][2][3][4] She also holds a diploma in performing arts from Potti Sreeramulu Telugu University.[1] She served as a crew member on multiple Analog/simulated Mars Missions.[1] She joined Boeing in 2010, where she has been working on the CST-100 Starliner, a spacecraft that would transport crew to the ISS.[2] She held multiple roles in this project, including Spacesuit Integration Lead, Flight Test Engineer, Flight Crew Operations and Flight Test Director.[3][4]

She received her PhD in 2017 under the supervision of Pablo de León, becoming the first ever PhD graduate in space studies at the University of North Dakota.[5] During her PhD, she developed patented novel technology, a smart fabric for planetary space suits to address the problem of lunar dust that proved to be a major issue during Apollo missions.[6][5] The fabric contains carbon nanotubes, which repel dust when an electric current is applied to them.[7] She holds three patents on this technology. Early-generation pieces of this fabric were launched into space for testing in April 2019 [5][7] Manyapu became an Adjunct Professor of the Space Studies Department at the University of North Dakota in 2019.[4]

Manyapu is a certified scuba diver and has a pilot's license.[3][8]

Manyapu has received a number of awards or her work. In 2014, she received the Rotary National Award for Space Achievement Stellar Award.[9] In 2016, she was one of nine people who won a Future Space Leader award.[10]

Selected publications[edit]

  • Manyapu, Kavya K.; et al. (2017). "Proof of concept demonstration of novel technologies for lunar spacesuit dust mitigation". Acta Astronautica. 137: 472–481. Bibcode:2017AcAau.137..472M. doi:10.1016/j.actaastro.2017.05.005.
  • Manyapu, Kavya K.; Peltz, Leora; De Leon, Pablo (2019). "Self-cleaning spacesuits for future planetary missions using carbon nanotube technology". Acta Astronautica. 157: 134–144. Bibcode:2019AcAau.157..134M. doi:10.1016/j.actaastro.2018.12.019.


  1. ^ a b c d e Reddy, R. Ravikanth (2014-01-17). "One giant leap for the skies". The Hindu. ISSN 0971-751X. Retrieved 2019-11-07.
  2. ^ a b c "Should the chief builder of the International Space Station be the company that offers taxi service there? Boeing thinks so". Air & Space Magazine. Retrieved 2019-11-07.
  3. ^ a b c "For These Engineers, Starliner's Crew Is Top Priority". alum.mit.edu. Retrieved 2019-11-07.
  4. ^ a b c "Kavya Manyapu | Department of Space Studies". aero.und.edu. Retrieved 2019-11-07.
  5. ^ a b c KVLY. "Fabric from UND-developed space suit to spend year in space". www.valleynewslive.com. Retrieved 2019-11-07.
  6. ^ "Self-cleaning spacesuits could help astronauts cope with Martian dust". www.newscientist.com. Retrieved 2019-11-07.
  7. ^ a b Stuckey, Alex (2019-04-26). "Self-cleaning space suit could help NASA astronauts avoid harmful dust on moon, Mars". HoustonChronicle.com. Retrieved 2019-11-07.
  8. ^ Boeing. "Astronaut Dreams". Retrieved 2019-11-07.
  9. ^ "2014 RNASA Stellar Award winners announced". Houston Chronicle. 2014-04-24. Retrieved 2019-11-07.
  10. ^ "2016 Future Space Leaders | Iaf". www.iafastro.org. Retrieved 2019-11-07.