I mentioned last June the Time Capsule To Mars (TC2M) project, which involves eight universities and several aerospace companies. They plan to send a Cubesat to Mars with messages from millions of people encoded digitally in a quartz-based material that can hold digital info for very long times. The cubesat will be propelled to the Red Planet using an ion Electrospray Propulsion System (iEPS) developed at MIT.

The project recently passed a significant milestone with the completion of a technical review of systems requirements: Student-Led Mission To Mars Completes Systems Architecture Study at MIT- ExploreMars –

The multi-week effort at MIT, which took place during MIT’s “Independent Activities Period (IAP),” focused on developing the systems architecture and systems-level requirements that would allow for technical designs and construction to begin in earnest. The study, led by graduate students Dianna Velez and Iulia Jivanescu, successfully completed initial concepts for the architecture, its systems, and their interfaces. Jonathan Brent Parham, Associate Technical Staff at MIT’s Lincoln Laboratory, served as a consultant on the study.

“The past three weeks have set the direction for the rest of the mission,” said Emily Briere, Mission Director and senior at Duke University’s Pratt School of Engineering. “By developing systems-level requirements and functional requirements for each subsystem, we’ve defined a clear path forward that our university teams can follow. The energy and enthusiasm for TC2M coming out of this study is overwhelming. This team is willing itself Marsward.”

The $25 million TC2M mission will be funded in large part by people around the world who upload personal digital media in the form of images, text, audio and video clips for a small fee. For those in the developing world, digital media uploads to the capsule will be offered free of charge and underwritten by corporate sponsors and individual philanthropists.

You can put in your donation here.