RASC-AL is open to undergraduate and graduate university-level students studying fields with applications to human space exploration (i.e., aerospace, bio-medical, 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 2018, up to 16 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 2018 (additional travel stipends provided).

Notes for all RASC-AL Projects:

  • Proposed designs should be consistent with human spacecraft requirements addressed in NASA Technical Standards 3000 and 3001 and NASA’s Human Integration Design Handbook (HIDH), and the physiological countermeasures identified in NASA standards should be addressed.
    • 3000 and 3001 are available on https://standards.nasa.gov (Select “NASA Technical Standards” from the left-hand navigation bar).
    • HIDH is on https://www.nasa.gov/feature/human-integration-design.
  • 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.