Aerospace and Space

Launch. Explore. Build.

We advance spacecraft technology by designing next-generation plasma thrusters for spacecraft.

Our research offers technology solutions for planetary surface exploration of the Moon, Mars, and beyond.

We design ultra-strong composites for use in deep space exploration.

  • $400K
    funding from NASA
  • 345°C
    temperature range for the dusty thermal vacuum chamber
  • 29K
    kg of water-ice can be produced in a one-year mission
  • $15M
    funding for US-COMP
Paul van Susante and student check his computer.

The Artemis Generation

The Planetary Surface Technology Development Lab, or PSTDL, a group of space-obsessed graduate and undergraduate students at Michigan Tech who compete in a variety of NASA Centennial Challenges. NASA awarded the PSTDL team $400,000 and named them one of four finalists in the Watts on the Moon Challenge.

In NASA's Breakthrough, Innovative and Game-changing (BIG) Idea Challenge in 2020, the PSTDL team won the top prize—the Artemis Award—for the Tethered permanently-shadowed Region Explorer rover, nicknamed T-REX. PSTDL also advanced to the final stage of NASA's Break the Ice Challenge with a project designed to excavate, refine, and transport water-ice in the polar regions of the moon.