Yuying Lin, Alisa Webb, Palak Patel and MIT RASC-AL Team receive top marks at the 2023 RASC-AL Forum

April 28, 2023

Graduate students Yuying Lin, Alisa Webb, and Palak Patel were part of MIT's NASA Homesteading Mars Team that presented their space mission design at NASA's RASC-AL 2023 competition in Cocoa Beach, Florida. This year's Homesteading Mars theme challenged teams to propose a 7-year mission to Mars with extremely limited resupply, aiming for an Earth-independence establishing mission that relies on in-situ resource utilization to reduce costs. The MIT team's approach was to establish two large, neighboring villages of 18 crew each and to include capabilities such as in-situ manufacturing, a field hospital and Mars Mission Control. These capabilities plus large surpluses of energy, water, locally produced food, life support and crew time support the crew to adapt to unexpected events, and the two villages collaborate to enrich each other's lives but also to support each other in case of crises. They presented their concept, "Pale Red Dot: Polis-based Architecture for the Long-term Exploration of the Red Planet, with Exciting and Diverse Developmental Opportunities to Thrive", which received the awards "Best in Theme" and "First Place Overall" at the 2023 NASA RASC-AL Forum!