NASA, along with industry and international partners, continue to explore options to achieve the horizon goal of
landing humans on the surface of Mars by 2040 and returning them safely back to Earth. One of the most significant
hurdles in achieving this ambitious goal is the return portion of this journey. Through the Mars science rover
programs, NASA has gained significant experience with landing assets on the surface of Mars, but for a crewed
mission, returning the crew safely back to orbit from the surface will be an unprecedented achievement. Despite the
significant experience with launching systems from Earth’s surface into orbit, launching hardware from the surface
of a distant planet, with little to no ground support structure, and up to 20 minutes of communication delay remain
the most significant challenge of any crewed Mars mission. In addition, limitation in the current entry, decent, and
landing technology necessitates a piecewise approach in the assembly of the Mars Ascent Vehicle (MAV). The
NASA Strategic Analysis Cycle 21 Human Mars Architecture1, a two-lander approach to this problem was
proposed. In this concept, the MAV lands on the surface of Mars without the propellant necessary for the ascent on
one lander, while a second lander land the necessary propellant for the MAV. An autonomous robotic system is
utilized to transfer the propellant to the MAV. This request for proposal seeks an innovative and cost-effective
design for the implementation of this Mars surface concept.
Department Aerospace Engineering
Sponsor AIAA
Advisor Dr. Álvaro Romero-Calvo
Primary Email Contact
Table # B1


Name Major Hometown
Alicia Frick AE Marietta
Amy Ritter AE Gaithersburg
Andrew Wood AE Centennial
Deepika Singla AE Montgomery
Joshua Messer AE Dacula
Katherine Parker AE Appling, GA
Logan Nyenhuis AE Hudsonville
Tanjil Neil Sarker AE Dhaka
Tyler White AE Sugar Hill