April 7, 2016
A capstone design team in Mechanical Engineering pursued an unconventional project and is now one of 12 finalists in a national competition. A five student team entered the RASC-AL competition (Revolutionary Aerospace Systems Concepts – Academic Linkage) on the topic of harvesting water from permanently-shadowed craters on the lunar north and south poles. The competition is managed by the National Institute of Aerospace on behalf of NASA, now in its second year. The IUPUI student team developed a complete system for extracting buried water ice and converting it to liquid oxygen and liquid hydrogen needed for fuel cells, rocket propellant, and for life support. After two rounds of down selection, the ME 462 team will travel to Cocoa Beach in June for the finals. This work builds upon space-related energy research conducted at the Richard G. Lugar Center for Renewable Energy under the supervision of Director Peter Schubert. The student team is led by Steve Zusack, co-founder of SEDS@IUPUI (our “rocket club”) and 3-time NASA intern, together with Chanel Johnson, Raveena Maharu, Sean Lachenman, and Nathan McDaniel. Please wish them well as the converge on the grand prize!