A team of University of Plymouth students have triumphed in a major international competition for their vision to create a space station that could orbit Mars.
Ajen Limbu, Elliot Tam and Jack Orme, all in the final year of an MEng Civil Engineering course, won the undergraduate section of the Institution of Structural Engineers’ Young Structural Engineers International Design Competition.
Entrants were asked to design a modular construction space station that could be assembled in zero gravity conditions and act as a staging post for exploration of the planets of our solar system.
It needed to have the capacity to develop its own gravity field, accommodate the servicing and launching of landing vehicles and support a permanent crew of 10 with additional accommodation for 10 other visiting crew members and engineers.
The three Plymouth students created the ISV Drake SR-1, named after Sir Francis Drake, having conducted extensive research into spacecraft design using material from NASA and the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency.
As well as a detailed report giving a structural overview and space worthiness, they also created section drawings of their proposed craft’s docking connection, elevation controls and module specifications.