Photo courtesy of the Pale Red Dot team
Pictured, left to right, back to front: Alexandros Lordos, University of Cyprus; George Lordos, Cormac O’Neill, Ignacio Arzuaga, Ezra Eyre, Nicole Chan, Alisa Webb, Palak Patel, Madelyn Hoying, Estelle Martin, Lanie McKinney, Yuying Lin

MIT’s Pale Red Dot wins top prize at NASA’s RASC-AL Forum

The Space Resources Workshop team’s concept “Pale Red Dot: Polis-based Architecture for the Long-term Exploration of the Red planet, with Exciting and Diverse Developmental Opportunities to Thrive” received first place at NASA’s Revolutionary Aerospace Systems Concepts – Academic Linkage (RASC-AL) competition, and also took home the “Best in Theme” award.
This year’s theme, “Homesteading Mars,” challenged teams to propose a 7-year mission to Mars with limited resupply. Teams were tasked with establishing an Earth-independent mission that utilizes in-situ resources to reduce costs. The Pale Red Dot team’s approach was to establish two large, neighboring villages, each with a crew of 18. The villages would include capabilities like in-situ manufacturing, a field hospital, and Mars Mission Control. These elements, plus large surpluses of energy, water, locally produced food, and community support would allow the two villages to collaborate and support each other and respond to unexpected events.
The Pale Red Dot paper, poster, and a recording of the final presentation can be found on the RASC-AL website.