HOUSTON--Students from the Clark School make up one of three teams selected by NASA’s Johnson Space Center in Houston to build potential habitats for astronauts traveling to the moon or Mars. The aerospace engineering students, led by the Clark School’s Professor David Akin, are competing in the eXploration Habitat (X-Hab) Academic Innovation Challenge.
The competition is designed to engage and retain students in science, technology, engineering and math disciplines, which in turn will help develop the next generation of innovators and explorers. It could also result in new concepts and solutions that NASA could apply to later exploration habitats.
The U-Md. students are competing against teams from Oklahoma State and the University of Wisconsin. The winning habitat will be used during NASA's Desert Research and Technology Studies ("Desert RATS") field trials in northern Arizona in September. The winning team also receives $10,000 to offset the costs of their participation.
X-Hab is sponsored by NASA's Exploration Systems Mission Directorate and the Innovative Partnerships Office in the Office of the Chief Technologist at agency headquarters in Washington.
NASA's press release
X-Hab Challenge web site
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June 13, 2011