Our NASA RASC-AL Teams
LEAPR is SEDS UPRM's first winning team in the NASA RASC-al Competition taking place in 2019. As part of Theme #3: Gateway-based Human Lunar Surface Access, the Lunar Exploration and Access to Polar Regions (LEAPR) project provides an architecture that meets and resolves the technical requirements and challenges of an extensive lunar operations campaign.
The EMPRESS project supports the human and robotic exploration of the South Pole of the Moon by providing a mobile scientific platform that also serves as an unpressurized crew surface mobility system for the first women and the next men to visit the lunar surface under the Artemis Program. This multi-purpose rover supports high-priority science objectives, technology demonstrations, crewed mission operations, risk-reduction activities, and transport & delivery of payloads beginning upon its arrival to the lunar surface in late 2023.
Our team has won best in theme and best in overall for the past 3 years. If you're interested in learning more you can visit the NASA RASC-AL site here.
DECIPHER presents a science-focused mission concept for a robotic and human expedition to Ceres in the 2040s. This will be accomplished by leveraging the use of two NTP-propelled Deep Space Transports to carry robotic explorers, scientific payloads, and a crew of four to and from the dwarf planet. The robotic explorers will complete high-priority science activities in sites of interest in advance to the crew. Two crew members will land in September 2049 to complete a 60-day surface stay.
The MAPPER mission concept provides an integrated plan to develop a water-based ISRU architecture on Mars between 2030 and 2041. This architecture offers a preliminary plan that includes the following steps: deploying precursor science missions, accessing and acquiring the water ice, processing the water and atmospheric CO2 into liquid methane and liquid oxygen, storing the propellant and the byproducts for a minimum of 5-year duration, and transporting those resources to their destination which may include Mars Ascent Vehicles (MAVs), surface habitats and pressurized rovers. The ISRU process produces 67 mT kg of both propellants combined in a year with 17 mt of liquid oxygen surplus and 59 mT of water. While the systems implemented in MAPPER are not dependent on the landing site, Arcadia Planitia is considered the target landing site because of the low slopes, diverse geological features, and the potential presence of 13,000 – 61,000 km3 of ice deposits in the subsurface. This possibility has made private space companies like SpaceX look at Arcadia Planitia as a landing site for future crewed missions.