Mars Pressurized Rover Design

Mars Pressurized Rover

This project, led by Christopher Arnold (PI, SIGD), was implemented through a senior design studio during the spring semester of 2018 in collaboration with NASA’s Advanced Concepts Group at Marshall Space Flight Center in Huntsville, AL. The work served as a conceptual exploration towards the development of Mars Pressurized Rover serving an operational crew of two for a period of up to three weeks. The students prepared design concepts related to NASA’s work on the Mars Pressurized Rover in support of ongoing studies for human Mars surface exploration in the 2030s. The collaboration is intended to share work, issues, and ideas with members of the Advanced Concept Group and the Industrial Design program at Auburn University. The Alabama Space Grant Consortium (ASGC) and the College of Architecture, Design, and Construction Seed Grant provided financial support for materials and travel of students and faculty during the project.

Over the course of the three-month studio collaboration, student teams developed research, concepts and details towards solution proposals addressing issues related to “habitability.” Focused, individual proposals, were developed in two and three-dimensions, and addressed in an integrated collaboration with team members. In total three full-scale rover mockups were constructed by teams of three to five students. Each mockup served as a platform for experiential learning and as a discussion piece for students and NASA personnel during the third “design review” project meeting. These same mockups remain in place and are serving to inspire and inform the work of high school students participating in the “Design Workshop” outreach program this summer.

Christopher Arnold is Associate Professor of Industrial Design at Auburn’s School of Industrial and Graphic Design.

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Christopher Arnold