Project Vision|Home
Vision Logo
AAE Senior Design: Spring 2011

“When Earth was tamed and tranquil, and perhaps a little tired, there would still be scope for those who loved freedom, for the tough pioneers, the restless adventurers. But their tools would not be ax and gun and canoe and wagon; they would be nuclear power plant and plasma drive and hydroponic farm. The time was fast approaching when Earth, like all mothers, must say farewell to her children.”

- Arthur C. Clarke, 2001: A Space Odyssey

Project Vision Mission Patch

Project Overview

The objective of Project Vision is to demonstrate the feasibility of a crewed mission to the dwarf planet Ceres, while minimizing the overall cost of the mission and assuring a safe return of the crew. This objective must be met while also meeting all of the Mission Design Requirements set forth at the beginning of the semester by Professor Longuski. More information on these Mission Design Requirements is outlined in the following section of this report. This project serves as a capstone to the education the team has received here at Purdue University.
As such, there was a focus throughout the semester all aspects of a well rounded engineer. Aside from the obvious focus on technical knowledge and analysis, the team also focused on presentation skills, written verbal skills, interpersonal relationships, and working through a multidisciplinary design processes. This report is the proud result of a semester’s worth of work put forth by 33 senior students in Aeronautical and Astronautical Engineering at Purdue University in the spring of 2011. Throughout this semester, we have spent countless hours working hard to design Project Vision to the best of our abilities.


We thank our professor, Dr. Longuski, and our TA, Frank Laipert, for their guidance and support throughout the entirety of this project. We would also like to thank the many faculty members, graduate students, and external contacts who have helped us tremendously with this design.

Outside Assistance
  • Dr. Boris Yendler - Structural Analysis & Thermal Control
  • Dr. David Minton - Ceres Scientific
  • Dr. Cary Mitchell - Hydroponics & Human Factors
  • Dr. John Rusek - Engine & Propellant
  • Dr. Charles Koursgrill - Rover Suspension Systems
AAE Faculty Assistance
  • Professor Anderson - Propulsion
  • Professor Filmer - Communications
  • Professor Heister - Propulsion
  • Professor Howell - Satellite Trajectory
  • Professor Marais - Risk Analysis
Graduate Student Assistance
  • Michael Mueterthies - Trajectory Design
  • Christopher Spreen - Trajectory Design
Webpage by: Christopher Luken