Landing System for Uncertain Terrain – RIT Red


Rochester Institute of Technology


Nickel Class (2020 – 2021)


Jordan D’Alba, Mechanical Engineering
Thymiane Hyvert, Electrical Engineering
Dennis Lam, Computer Engineering
Grace Muggeo, Mechanical Engineering
Jacob Samuelson, Industrial Engineering/Engineering Management


Carlos Barrios, Lecturer, Department of Electrical and Microelectronic Engineering, Rochester Institute of Technology


The NASA Psyche Mission is set to launch in 2022 and arrive at the asteroid in 2026. It is an orbiter mission and will not land on the surface. It is possible to imagine, however, that after learning about Psyche from orbit, there may be scientists and engineers interested in proposing a subsequent mission to actually land on the asteroid. Designing to the range of hypothesized surfaces and terrain that might be found at Psyche (and keeping in mind other constraints such as its gravity), the team will design a landing system capable of safely landing on the asteroid. Hypothesized surfaces and terrain may include: mostly flat metallic surface, flat metallic with metal and/or rocky debris, rough/high-relief metallic and/or rocky terrain, high-relief metallic crater walls.

This work was created in partial fulfillment of Rochester Institute of Technology Capstone Courses. The work is a result of the Psyche Student Collaborations component of NASA’s Psyche Mission ( “Psyche: A Journey to a Metal World” [Contract number NNM16AA09C] is part of the NASA Discovery Program mission to solar system targets. Trade names and trademarks of ASU and NASA are used in this work for identification only. Their usage does not constitute an official endorsement, either expressed or implied, by Arizona State University or National Aeronautics and Space Administration. The content is solely the responsibility of the authors and does not necessarily represent the official views of ASU or NASA.