Announcing NASA’s 2019 RASC-AL Competition

The 2019 Revolutionary Aerospace Systems Concepts – Academic Linkage (RASC-AL) Competition is seeking proposals for innovative Gateway missions.

NASA’s RASC-AL Competition is a collegiate-level engineering design challenge that allows students to incorporate their coursework into real aerospace design concepts and work together in a team environment. With over a decade of history, the RASC-AL Competition is one of NASA’s longest running and most robust student competitions.

This year’s RASC-AL themes range from using the Gateway as the hub of new science capabilities to using it as the jumping-off point for humanity’s return to the lunar surface:

  • Theme 1: Gateway Logistics as a Science Platform
  • Theme 2: Gateway-based Cis-Lunar Tug
  • Theme 3: Gateway-based Human Lunar Surface Access
  • Theme 4: Gateway Uncrewed Utilization & Operations

Interested student teams and their faculty advisors should submit an online Notice of Intent by October 15, 2018 and submit proposals and videos by January 17, 2019.

Respondents are asked to pay special attention to the following proposal expectations:

  • Proposals should clearly articulate the innovation and design being proposed, including original engineering analysis planned and/or in progress.
  • Proposals should describe how their proposed solution will meet the requirements of their chosen theme.
  • Examples include describing specific features of their concept as determined from initial studies or engineering analysis, or how a proposed trade space will explore and develop potential concepts leading to subsequent analysis and down-select.
  • Teams should also identify objectives relevant to their chosen theme that their concept will satisfy.

Based on review of the team proposal and video submissions, the RASC-AL Steering Committee (SC) will select up to twenty teams to move to the next stage of the competition. After evaluating Mid-Project Reviews in March, the SC will narrow the competition field and invite 12-14 teams to move to the final phase of the competition – presenting their concepts to a panel of NASA and industry judges in a competitive design review at the 2019 RASC-AL Forum in Cocoa Beach, Florida next June.

Finalist teams receive a $6,000 stipend to facilitate full participation in the RASC-AL Forum. The top two overall winning teams will be awarded with additional travel stipends to present their concept at an aerospace conference, such as AIAA Space 2019 or IAC 2019.

We have created a printable 2019 RASC-AL Flyer which contains more information about this year’s challenge and is ideal for posting in classrooms and departmental bulletin boards.

For full competition details, including complete theme and submission guidelines, please visit the RASC-AL Website:

Participating students have the opportunity to interact with NASA and industry experts, develop relationships that could lead to participation in other NASA student research programs, and infuse concepts and data from RASC-AL into NASA human exploration program planning.

If you have any questions, please contact the RASC-AL Program Team:

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