Explore Mars is pleased to announce a new partnership with the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT). As part of the MIT Department of Aeronautics and Astronautics – Aerospace Engineering Senior Capstone Class – MIT students will develop penetrator designs and then build and test the prototypes throughout the 2015-2016 school year.
“We are extremely excited to be working with MIT on this concept,” commented Explore Mars Executive Director, Chris Carberry. “Penetrators could prove to be extremely valuable for terrestrial scientific applications as well as interplanetary missions such as Mars.”
Aerojet Rocketdyne will also be assisting with this program providing mentoring to the students as they develop their designs. “This is exactly the kind of project that got us interested in partnering with Explore Mars,” said Joe Cassady, Executive Director of Space Programs for Aerojet Rocketdyne. “It provides the opportunity to reach out and get students involved with a first rate idea to do something innovative with potential applications to Mars science.”
In 2014, Explore Mars announced the ExoLance, one of the Explore Mars BE BOLD Projects (ExoLance.exploremars.org), with the goal of developing penetrator projectiles to conduct experiments (including potentially life detection) below the Martian surface. Explore Mars looks forward to continuing to pursue this goal through ExoLance and by partnering with organizations like MIT.