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NASA: Homesteading Mars — Soletair Power’s CEO to advise finalist team at RASC-AL Mars Space Operations showcasing event

Soletair Power’s CEO Petri Laakso will advise the team from the University of Texas selected by NASA at RASC-AL’s Future Moon and Mars Space Operations showcasing event.

Fifteen teams from universities across the U.S. have been selected as finalists to present their innovative concepts for Future Moon and Mars Space Operations at the 2023 Revolutionary Aerospace Systems Concepts – Academic Linkages (RASC-AL) Forum in Cocoa Beach, Florida in June. NASA personnel and industry experts selected the finalists based on a review of competitive proposals in four themes related to expanding human operations on the Moon, Mars, and beyond.

Petri Laakso will be advising the project PHOENIX: Principal Hub for Off-world Exploration, Navigation, and Interplanetary eXperimentation” under the Homesteading Mars theme.

MARS symbolic photo

Selected teams proposed designs in one of four themes. The 2023 finalist teams are:


Homesteading Mars Theme

Massachusetts Institute of Technology

“Pale Red Dot: Polity-based Architecture for the Long-term Exploration of the Red planet, with Exciting and Diverse Developmental Opportunities to Thrive”
Advisors: Jeffrey Hoffman, Olivier de Weck, Alexandros Lordos, Chloe Gentgen, Kir Latyshev

University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign with Ultra Safe Nuclear Corporation

“MORROW: Mars Outpost Regenerative Resource Operations Workshop”
Advisors: Michael Lembeck, Linyi “Tiger” Hou

University of Puerto Rico, Mayagüez

“PROMISE: Permanent Research Outpost for Mars and Interplanetary Space Exploration”
Advisors: Bárbara Calcagno, Gustavo Gutiérrez, Eduardo Quintero, Douglas Trent

University of Texas, Austin with ICON Build and Soletair Power

“PHOENIX: Principal Hub for Off-world Exploration, Navigation, and Interplanetary eXperimentation”
Advisors: Adam Nokes, Evan Jensen (ICON Build), Mike Fiske (Jacobs Space Exploration Group), Petri Laasko (Soletair Power)

Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University

“Project AMBITION”
Advisor: Kevin Shinpaugh

Lunar North Pole Tourism Theme

University of Maryland

“Project Hestia”
Advisor: Jarred Young

Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University

“Lunar Voyages”
Advisor: Kevin Shinpaugh

Lunar Surface Transporter Vehicle Theme

South Dakota State University

“ANTS: Artemis Navigating Transporter System”
Advisor: Todd Letcher

University of Maryland

“SHELL: System for Heavy-Lift End-To-End Lunar Logistics”
Advisor: David Akin

University of Texas, Austin with Firefly Aerospace

“Project SCORPIUS: Super-heavy Cargo Oriented Roving Platform with Integrated Utility Services”
Advisors: Adam Nokes, Jordan Landel (Firefly Aerospace), Joseph Quirk (Firefly Aerospace), Will Adams (Firefly Aerospace)

Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University

“Multi-Use Lunar Environment Cargo Carrier (MULE-CC)”
Advisor: Kevin Shinpaugh

Multi-Use Platform at L1 Theme

California State Polytechnic University, Pomona

“SciNAP: Science & Network Access Platform”
Advisor: Navid Nakhjiri

Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University

“HYPERRION: Hybrid Platform for Experimentation, Refueling, Repair, Innovation, and Orbital Navigation”
Advisors: Davide Conte, Claudia Ehringer Lucas

Georgia Institute of Technology

“Multi-Use L1 Platform: L1 Orbiting Tracking & Uplink Spacecraft (LOTUS)”
Advisor: Álvaro Romero-Calvo

University of Maryland

“Multi-Use Space Station for Servicing, Science, and Communications at Lagrange Point 1 (MUSCL1)”
Advisors: David Akin, Brent Barbee


Each team will receive a $6,500 stipend to further develop and present their concept to a panel of NASA and industry subject matter experts in a competitive design review at the event to be held on June 12-14, 2023.

RASC-AL (Revolutionary Aerospace Systems Concepts – Academic Linkages) is sponsored by the Moon to Mars Architecture Development Office within the Exploration Systems Development Mission Directorate at NASA Headquarters, and by the Space Mission Analysis Branch within the Systems Analysis and Concepts Directorate at NASA Langley. It is administered by the National Institute of Aerospace.


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