Welcome to the Illinois Space Society's RASC-AL page!
If you are interested in joining this project, please contact Benjamin O'Hearn at firstname.lastname@example.org
What is RASC-AL?
RASC-AL Revolutionary Aerospace Systems Concepts Academic Linkage) is a theoretical, research-based competition managed by the National Institute of Aerospace on behalf of NASA. The competition tests the innovation of both undergraduate and graduate student teams, challenging them to develop mission concepts critical for the future of space exploration. In addition to an initial design proposal, teams must pass several mid-project reviews before presenting their designs at the RASC-AL finals in Cocoa Beach, Florida. The Illinois Space Society has reached the competition finals for the last three years, with mission designs ranging from a self-sustaining Mars base to an Earth-independent 1G space station.
Each year’s competition presents a variety of design themes for prospective teams to choose from. For this year’s competition, the ISS RASC-AL team has chosen to design a habitable module that can act as an interim system following the expected decommissioning of the International Space Station. Beyond its initial public and private applications in Low Earth Orbit, this module must also be adaptable for a Mars transit mission in the future. The ISS team’s current design makes use of a Bigelow BA-330 inflatable module adapted for use as an independent, long-term human habitat. In addition to basic living quarters and amenities for the crew, the habitat is designed to facilitate a variety of onboard research activities as well as EVA capabilities. Research work continues following submission of the abstract in January, and the team will continue to refine its design throughout the spring. The RASC-AL competition is the primary research-based project within the Illinois Space Society, offering members experience with systems engineering, technical writing, cost analysis, and mission timeline development.
The RASC-AL project will start back up in the beginning of the 2017-18 school year. The team lead, weekly time, and the location is TBD. Check back for updates. Remember to attend the first ISS general meeting on Tuesday, August 29, 2017, at 6 pm.