Go to Polygence Scholars page
Aryaman Vala's cover illustration
Polygence Scholar2020
Aryaman Vala's profile

Aryaman Vala

Neuqua Valley High SchoolClass of 2022Naperville, Illinois


Hello! My name is Aryaman Vala. I'm a rising senior at Neuqua Valley High School in Naperville, Illinois. My current plan for the future is to major in aerospace engineering in college. At my high school, I'm on the VEX robotics team and the varsity tennis team. I enjoy learning about space, physics, and robots. My Polygence project was about selecting the optimal propulsion system and launch mechanism for a long-duration mission to Mars by analyzing certain performance characteristics of past rockets. I am excited to be a Polygence Student Ambassador and hopefully an advisor to you! I would enjoy helping you with your stem-based project in fields such as aerospace or aeronautical engineering.


  • "Systematic Approach to Evaluating Propulsion Options for Long-Duration Missions to Mars" with mentor Katherine (Aug. 30, 2021)

Project Portfolio

Systematic Approach to Evaluating Propulsion Options for Long-Duration Missions to Mars

Started Feb. 26, 2021

Abstract or project description

Propulsion systems and launch mechanisms are analyzed to select the optimal rocket design for space travel to Mars. The advantages and disadvantages of various propulsion systems are described. A Pugh matrix is used to determine the optimum propulsion system and launch mechanism based; in part; on past performance characteristics. This paper recommends that an electrothermal propulsion system with a multistage launch mechanism be used for missions to Mars.