Mines students finalists for NASA and National Institute of Aerospace Moon Design Team Competition
HAMPTON, Va., March 10, 2009 – Fifteen teams have made it to the finals of a NASA and National Institute of Aerospace (NIA) sponsored competition that is challenging university students to think about the conditions astronauts will face when we return to the moon, and then design projects that could become part of real lunar exploration.
The undergraduate students on the Mines team include Thomas Begley, Harrison Bromley, Bryce Carande, Diana Goodrich, Jon Krueger and Jason Sexauer. The team’s advisor is Joel Duncan, a lecturer in the Mines Design EPICS (Engineering Practices Introductory Course Sequence) program.
The undergraduate and graduate engineering students won the right to compete against each other at the 2009 Revolutionary Aerospace Systems Concepts Academic Linkage or RASC-AL forum to be held in Cocoa Beach, Fla., June 1-4.
"The RASC-AL steering committee of NASA and industry experts was impressed by the creativity, ingenuity and thoughtfulness of this year’s student entries," said Pat Troutman, senior systems analyst at NASA's Langley Research Center in Hampton, Va. "Next generation engineers are going to be crucial in helping NASA get back to the moon, then go onto Mars and beyond."
The five graduate student teams will represent the University of Texas in Austin; the University of Maryland, College Park; a joint effort from University of Florida in Gainesville and Arizona State University, Tempe; and two Georgia Tech groups who are completing their graduate study at NIA.
The other undergraduate student teams are from Arizona State University; a collaboration of Penn State in State College, Polytechnic Institute of NYU, Brooklyn, and Georgia Tech, Atlanta; the University of Maryland; Clarkson University in Potsdam, NY; the University of Alabama in Huntsville; Virginia Tech, Blacksburg; Worcester Polytechnic Institute in Worcester, Mass.; North Carolina State University, Raleigh; and a North Carolina State University team in residence at NIA.
The student teams submitted a summary of and an outreach plan for their proposed projects. Their work was based on one of four themes: outpost to settlement, initial lunar outpost, bringing the world along with virtual exploration and novel approaches to increase sample return from the moon.
The teams must submit a written report, prepare a poster and give an oral presentation at the RASC-AL forum. The steering committee will score the students' work and award first and second prizes in undergraduate and graduate categories. To cover costs of travel, registration and incidentals each team receives $5,875.
"NIA is impressed by the quality of proposed design projects and we anticipate a highly competitive forum," said Dr. Bernard Grossman, vice president of education and outreach at NIA. "RASC-AL is a great venue to identify today’s university students’ grasp of engineering concepts."
The June forum will give faculty and students the chance to meet with NASA and industry experts, introduce concepts and data from the competition into NASA exploration program planning, develop relationships that could lead to participation in other NASA student research programs and show the benefits of NASA-university-industry cooperation.
For more information, see:
- 2009 Revolutionary Aerospace Systems Concepts Academic Linkage competition
- National Institute of Aerospace