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KSC Hosts Future Marsport Engineering Design Competition
KSC Hosts Future Marsport Engineering Design Competition
2 May 2001
(Source: Kennedy Space Center)

National Aeronautics and Space Administration

John F. Kennedy Space Center
Kennedy Space Center, Florida 32899
AC 321 867-2468

Bruce Buckingham
Kennedy Space Center

Jaydeep Mukherjee
Florida Space Grant Consortium

KSC Release No. 53 - 01

How will NASA launch spacecraft from the Martian surface? Students and faculty from universities around the country, hoping to make a real contribution in support of human exploration of Mars, will converge on the KSC Visitor Complex for this year's NASA-KSC-sponsored MarsPort Engineering Design Student Competition 2001 organized by the Florida Space Grant Consortium. Innovative design ideas will be presented as part of a two-day conference May 7 - 8 at the Kurt H. Debus Conference Facility.

During the competition, six university teams will present their engineering trade study papers, which include original design configurations for a MarsPort Cryogenics and Consumables Station (MCCS), to a panel of judges comprised of engineers and scientists from Kennedy Space Center, the University of Florida, Science Applications International Corporation and The Boeing Co. A winning team will be selected and NASA will incorporate innovations from the work into its engineering trade studies and evaluate them against other leading concepts.

The MarsPort Cryogenics and Consumables Station (MCCS) is a vital element of the complex infrastructure needed to launch spacecraft from the Martian surface.

The MarsPort competition actually began in the fall of 2000 when invitations were sent out to colleges and universities. Participating student teams were required to write and submit a proposal to the NASA MarsPort 2001 design review committee. From all entries, six teams were selected to investigate the MCCS issues and to design solutions addressing them. All six teams received qualifying cash awards of up to $2000 upon selection and subsequent design reviews.

School teams participating in this year's competition are Cornell University's Odysseus Team, Embry Riddle Aeronautical University, Georgia Institute of Technology, The George Washington University's Joint Institute for Advancement of Flight Sciences Team, University of Tennessee-Knoxville and the University of Wisconsin-Madison.

This year's MarsPort competition and conference will also feature presentations by Dr. Sam Durrance, former astronaut and director of the Florida Space Grant Consortium; Dr. Story Musgrave, former astronaut; and Dr. Nadine Barlow, an astronomer from the University of Central Florida.

The MarsPort competition is also sponsored by Science Applications International Corporation and Boeing, and jointly administered by the Florida Space Grant Consortium (FSGC) and the Texas Space Grant Consortium.

The FSGC was formed in 1989 when NASA implemented the National Space Grant College and Fellowship Program. FSGC is a voluntary association of 17 universities and colleges along with Kennedy Space Center, Spaceport Florida Authority, Astronaut Memorial Foundation and Higher Education Consortium for Math and Sciences. The FSGC represents Florida in NASA's Space Grant College and Education Program. It serves more than 230,000 university students in Florida.

The MarsPort Engineering Design Competition 2001 and conference hours are 8 a.m. - 6:30 p.m., Monday, May 7 and 8 a.m. - 2 p.m., Tuesday, May 8. Further information on the NASA-KSC-sponsored MarsPort competition may be obtained by calling the Florida Space Grant Consortium at 321-452-4301.

Media representatives are invited to attend and should drive directly to the KSC Visitor Complex and proceed to the Debus Conference Facility.

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Last Updated: 5 Jun 2001