Purdue AAE student organization places 3rd in international competition

The Mars Society Purdue Chapter won 3rd place in the International Gemini Mars Design Competition. The competition involved designing a two-person Mars flyby mission that can be launched no later than 2024 as cheaply, safely and simply as possible.

A group of Purdue AAE students won 3rd place in the International Gemini Mars Design Competition. The final round of the contest was held last month at the 2016 International Mars Society Convention in Washington, D.C.

Initiated by the Mars Society in August 2015, the Gemini Mars competition invited engineering students from around the world to create a detailed plan for a two-person Mars flyby mission that could be placed on the desk of the U.S. president-elect in January 2017 and completed by the end of his or her second term in office.

Nineteen teams from around the world enters the competition. Of these, ten teams representing more than 20 universities from seven countries were selected to participate in the final round. The finalists presented their design proposals in person at the annual Mars Society convention before a group of seven judges representing NASA, the aerospace industry and the Mars Society.

Students from The Mars Society Purdue Chapter made up Team Itinere, which placed 3rd overall. The team was the only one from the United States to finish in the top five.

photo (from left to right): Alek Gardner, Glynn Smith, Michael Weiss, Diego Martinez, Maaninee Gupta, Eric Schweitzer, Surya Vezhavendan, Eiji Shibata, Robert Potter. Not pictured is team member Arnau Pons.