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Purdue team wins big for space exploration proposal

The Purdue chapter of the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics (AIAA) received second place in a design contest. The team’s proposal, “The Hathor Excavator: A Mission Proposal for Asteroid Mining and the Launch System,” took second place in the AIAA Transportation Design Competition.

Purdue AIAA teamThe Purdue chapter of the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics (AIAA) received second place in a design contest.

The team’s proposal, “The Hathor Excavator: A Mission Proposal for Asteroid Mining and the Launch System,” took second place in the AIAA Transportation Design Competition.

The objective of the project is to propose space exploration mission beyond Earth and Lunar orbits utilizing large payload capability of the NASA Space Launch System. The Space Launch System (SLS) is a powerful expendable launch vehicle in development by NASA with the primary purpose of enabling human space exploration beyond Earth’s orbit.

Their mission utilizes its capabilities to travel and attach to the large asteroid Bennu, mine a significant sample, separate the material into components, and return the sample material to an accessible location.

The Purdue team included Morgan Pietruch, Rhodes Lacy, Robert Groome, Nicki Liu, Jennifer Bergeson, Alexandra Wyatt, Caroline Kren, Jonathan Bensman, and Christian Young.