After years of working in the aerospace industry on projects ranging from planning the Voyager 2 Neptune encounter to helping develop shuttle-supported Hubble space telescope servicing, Rex W. Ridenhoure has turned his attention to a design concept for modular space stations.

Ridenhoure will present the idea at the Third Annual Harold W. Ritchey Distinguished Lecture in Space Engineering at 12:30 p.m. today in the Taggart Student Center Sunburst Lounge at Utah State University.Ridenhoure, a mission engineer at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory and a former research engineer at the Center for Atmospheric and Space Sciences at USU, believes the future of space exploration is in a system of launch vehicles, space tugs, space platforms and other systems that will allow people to live and work in space.

The space station design Ridenhoure endorses is a modular system of interlocking cylinders, spheres and tunnels that would allow a space station to be enlarged or reduced depending on budgets and needs.

Gilbert Moore, senior research associate with the Space Dynamics Laboratory at USU, said the concept of a modular space station seems to be a very logical approach and added the design is very different from the one NASA is currently working on.