Monday, January 7, 2019

Call for Proposals: NASA’s 2019 RASC-AL Themes, Florida

NASA is working with commercial and international partners to develop the Gateway, a cis-lunar outpost enabling crewed missions to the Moon (and eventually Mars) that also supports science and industry. The 2019 RASC-AL Competition is seeking undergraduate and graduate teams to develop new concepts that leverage innovations that improve our ability to access and explore destinations in cis-lunar space via the Gateway. This year’s themes range from using the Gateway as the hub of new science capabilities to using it as the jumping-off point for humanity’s return to the lunar surface. Each team’s response should address novel and robust applications to expand humanity’s ability to live and explore beyond Earth.

RASC-AL is open to undergraduate and graduates university-level students studying fields with applications to human space exploration (i.e., aerospace, biomedical, electrical, and mechanical engineering; and life, physical, and computer sciences). RASC-AL projects allow students to incorporate their coursework into real aerospace design concepts and work together in a team environment. Interdisciplinary teams are encouraged.

Through RASC-AL, teams and their faculty advisors will design innovative solutions with supporting original engineering and analysis in response to one of the following themes:
In 2019, up to 14 teams may be chosen to compete at the RASC-AL Forum in Cocoa Beach, Florida. Each team will receive a monetary award to facilitate full participation in the RASC-AL Forum. The teams with the top two winning papers will be invited to present their design projects to industry experts at a major Aerospace conference, such as AIAA Space 2019 or IAC 2019 (additional travel stipends provided).

Notes for all RASC-AL Projects:
  • Attention should be given to the following:
    • Synergistic applications of NASA’s planned current investments.
    • Unique combinations of the planned elements with new innovative capabilities/technologies to support crewed and robotic exploration of the solar system.
    • Realistic assessment of costs for technology maturation, system development, and production and operations.
Helpful Resources: Teams should thoroughly review the documents on the recommended reading list found on the RASC-AL Resources Page.

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  • Overall Competition Winners:
    • The top two overall winning teams will be awarded with a travel stipend to present their concept at an aerospace conference, such as AIAA Space 2019 or IAC 2019. 
  • Other Recognition Awards May Include: 
  • First Place – Undergraduate 
    • First Place – Graduate
    • Best in Theme
    • The PEACH award*
    •  *TThe PEACH Award
      Lewis Peach served as the Chairman of the RASC-AL Steering Committee for more than a decade as an inspirational leader, mentor, and friend. To honor Lewis’ ever-present, inspiring love of space exploration and learning, and for his enduring commitment to innovation and excellence, an annual RASC-AL innovation award has been established and will bear his name as the “Pioneering Exceptional Achievement Concept Honor” Award.” The PEACH will recognize the most innovative idea or meaningful concept presented at the RASC-AL Forum. This award represents the incredible accomplishments Lewis made to space exploration, and links to the future promise of bright RASC-AL students who will hopefully follow in Lewis’ footsteps, blazing new trails for space exploration.
  • Participation Awards / Stipends
    Teams presenting at the Forum will receive a monetary award to facilitate full participation in the RASC-AL Forum.

The RASC-AL Program is open to undergraduate or graduate students at an accredited U.S.-based university. Students studying in any major related to the RASC-AL topics (generally science, medicine, engineering, technology, or mathematics) are most fitted to the challenge. Teams may include senior capstone students, clubs, multi-university teams, or multi-disciplinary teams.
  • Team sizes vary widely, but must contain, at a minimum, one faculty or industry advisor with a university affiliation at a U.S.-based institution, and 2 students from a U.S.-based university who work on the project and present at the RASC-AL Forum. There is no limit to the number of participants on each team, however, please contact the program staff if you plan to bring more than 12 participants to the RASC-AL Forum so all attendees may be accommodated.
  • One faculty advisor is required to attend the Forum with each team, and is a condition for acceptance into the RASC-AL Competition. 
    • Teams who do not have a faculty advisor present at the annual RASC-AL Forum will be disqualified from competing and travel stipends will be subject to return to NIA.
  • Foreign students or universities can participate only as team-members/collaborators with a U.S.-led Team. The U.S. team will be the primary POC and will determine how/if the participation stipend will be distributed to international partners teams for travel to the forum.
  • A team is classified as an “undergraduate team” if the majority of the student members are undergraduate students. Similarly, a team is classified as a “graduate team” if the majority of the student members are graduate students.

How to Apply:
Please visit HERE for more information for applying 

17 January 2019

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