Photo By Mike DeRosa

Cleveland State’s AIAA members Kelly Colleen, Maggie Kolovic and Erin Tesny pose with a poster that entails the group’s mission statement and practice.


Feburary 29, 2016

CSU AIAA members participate in space competition

Breakthroughs in the fields of science and technology improve daily lives and help to make advances in other fields.

Members of Cleveland State University’s Aerospace Student Organization may be among the people who contribute in these fields as they compete in the mission to Mars competition.

This competition consists of teams of up to 10 students that send proposals and schematics for the design of a machine that has the potential to go to Mars and collect soil samples.

The leader of Cleveland State’s design team, Erin Tesny, is working with five other designers who are collectively gathering research for their 50-page draft and design.

The design will be submitted to a panel of judges from the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics (AIAA), Transportation Technical Committee.

“Usually five to 10 other schools compete in these competitions. All of the groups competing are undergraduate members of AIAA at other universities,” Tesny said.

“We also have another design team within AIAA that’s working on building a quad copter, but that’s really something they’re doing for fun.”

“The team that I lead, that’s like designing all aspects of returning the soil sample to earth. And that’s all research based,” Tesney said.

Obviously we can’t really build and test anything and send it to Mars,” she joked.

Tesny also said the research includes looking at previous studies and what work groups like NASA has done with rockets and propulsion.

“It’s a lot of research, but you also have to have different schematics of the different components being used,” she said. “The Mars ascend vehicle, the orbiting vehicle you’re using to get back from Mars to Earth, there’s a bit of designing being done but it’s mostly consolidating what’s already been done.”

According to Tesny, this is the first time Cleveland State has even competed in this type of competition.

“The competition itself is called the AIAA Undergrad Space Competition, and they have a couple different categories for undergrads to work on a team and submit a proposal,” she explained. “But, we haven’t competed in them before.”

The competition will take place on May 16.

Until then, Tesny and her team will continue their hard work to go for the win as well as the $500 prize toward their chapter.


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