The challenge they had to overcome was the progressive design of a robotic mission that you would move on to Mars To collect ice samples in the shape of a heart, and bring them well preserved in a side quest usually called Mars sample return.
Challenges like this are usually presented to students of the world every year by American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics (AIAA), as an opportunity for them to participate in real-world problem simulations, gain experience, and receive useful and constructive feedback from experts serving on this organization’s technical committees.
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The team consists of ten students from the Aerospace Engineering program University of Antioquia, He worked on building his proposal from November 2020 to May this year, an effort that was rewarded by the announcement in recent days that his proposal ranked third in the competition.
We call the project work Haba-Solo In honor of the Kogi snow god, since the mission focused on bringing in Mars ice samples, and we noticed that nearly all space missions were named after Greek or Roman deities, we thought there must be some here that I can pray says Santiago Velez, the student who was the project coordinator.
Among the conditions that the proposal must meet are, for example, that the budget limit should not exceed one trillion dollars (missions with the lowest impact cost more than twice that limit); They must have brought no less than 2.5 kg of samples in perfect condition, and had to arrive no later than December 31, 2030, subject to testing time and systems construction.
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“Here is the interesting thing about the competition, they challenge us to investigate and go to the genesis of the topic and we discovered that it was possible to cut the budget a lot if all things were already proven. We started there and found, for example, an exercise that NASA or someone else was already testing And we did the same with all systems,” says Velez.
The jury also highlighted the preservation system proposed by the students to return the samples safely. “Our system does not need power, it uses the materials it is made of and the environments we put it in,” says the student, adding that the team’s bronze medal in this competition allows them to believe they can take on this type of project.
In addition, it was the first time that the University of Antioquia had competed since the competition began in 1997, and it also became the first time that a team from a Colombian institution had come into prominence.
As an appreciation, students will receive, in addition to certificates of participation, an award of $500, the opportunity to publish a scholarly article referring to the work and their participation in a conference held each year by the AIAA.
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