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03-29-2006

Clarkson Students Invited to Present Innovative Lunar Base Proposal at Upcoming NASA Meeting

[A photograph for media use is available at http://www.clarkson.edu/news/photos/rasc-al.jpg]

Five Clarkson University students have been invited to present their ideas for the development of a permanent, self-sufficient lunar outpost to a professional audience at a special NASA-sponsored forum in May in Cocoa Beach, Fla. Rasc-Al

Each year, RASC-AL invites students nationwide to develop and submit concepts and technology that will lead to opportunities for future NASA research and programs. Students submit abstracts to the RASC-AL Steering Committee which reviews the project entries and selects those judged most promising for presentation at the annual forum.

The Clarkson RASC-AL team includes seniors Walter Owens (mechanical engineering) and Christopher Zupp (aeronautical engineering); and juniors Andrew Bingham (mechanical engineering), Myles Farrell (aeronautical engineering) and Kate Wickswat (iE&M). Piergiovanni Marzocca, assistant professor of mechanical & aeronautical engineering, and Hayley Shen, associate director of the Honors Program and professor of civil & environmental engineering, serve as faculty mentors.

The efficient and cost-effective proposal submitted by the Clarkson team for a sustainable lunar base had all the right ingredients to be successful, said Marzocca. The students did an outstanding job of addressing the challenges and developing innovative ideas for utilizing lunar resources through emerging technologies. They also included a plan for potential commercial applications and provided a realistic assessment of the project costs and schedule. But perhaps most important, the students turned a dream for a human settlement of space into a possibility by envisioning the first community on the Moon.

The Clarkson RASC-AL team is part of Clarkson University's award-winning SPEED (Student Projects for Engineering Experience and Design) program, which promotes multidisciplinary, project-based learning opportunities for more than 250 undergraduates annually.

PHOTO CAPTION: Five Clarkson University students (pictured here with their faculty mentors) have been invited to present their ideas for the development of a permanent, self-sufficient lunar outpost at a special NASA-sponsored forum in May in Cocoa Beach, Fla. Front row (L-R): Students Christopher Zupp, Andrew Bingham, and Walter Owens. Back row (L-R): Faculty advisor and Assistant Professor of Mechanical & Aeronautical Engineering Piergiovanni Marzocca, students Myles Farrell and Kate Wickswat, and faculty advisor and Professor of Civil & Environmental Engineering Hayley Shen.

[News directors and editors: For more information, contact Michael P. Griffin, director of News & Digital Content Services, at 315-268-6716 or mgriffin@clarkson.edu.]

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