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Engineering Students Excel in NASA Competition

By A. James Clark School of Engineering Staff

Two University of Maryland teams took “Best in Theme” for their concepts in NASA’s 2021 Revolutionary Aerospace Systems Concepts—Academic Linkage (RASC-AL) program.

Maryland was one of only two universities with three teams selected as finalists, with all three comprising students from the Department of Aerospace Engineering’s senior capstone course, “Space Systems Design.”

The winning Maryland teams were:

Mars Lightweight Low-cost Ascent Rocket Design (MALLARD)—Minimum Mars Ascent Vehicle (MAV) Category
While current MAV concepts call for a vehicle with a wet mass of 40 metric tons, MALLARD cuts this in half, introducing a lighter, less expensive, more flexible alternative to bringing future explorers home.
Faculty Advisers: Dave Akin, Mary Bowden, Andrew Becnel and Jarred Young

Habitat for Exploration of the Lunar Polar Surfaces (HELPS)—Durable Low-Mass Lunar Surface Habitat Category
HELPS is a lunar habitat mobility system capable of extending fields of operations for astronauts, with docking abilities with other habitats to create a web of interconnected bases and expand crew number accommodations.
Faculty Advisdrs: Dave Akin and Mary Bowden

All of this year’s projects can be viewed on the RASC-AL 2021 Forum.

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