UCCS is building a demonstration of a "space sling." This device that can accelerate payload to high speeds for lunar and interplanetary travel without the use of an expensive, single-shot rocket. The fact that the space sling uses only cheap and replenishable electrical power (provided by solar cells) makes this a viable way to establish a colony on the Moon or Mars.
The demo that we are building here in UH 233 will have a range of activities that students at any level can participate in: designing and building plexiglass safety shields; researching and purchasing an electric motor; overall design and fabrication of the sling; development of the data acquisition system and electronics, etc.
See Prof. Tragesser in UH 228 (email@example.com) for information on how you can get involved.
Powerpoint Presentation of the Drive Train Design and Fabrication
Space 2009 Conference Paper on System Design and Results