The astronomical and aeronautical engineering students announced their findings Tuesday to former astronaut Buzz Aldrin.
The rare alignment of Jupiter, Saturn, Mars, Venus and Mercury means this spring should make for exceptional stargazing.
NASA says the Mars 2020 Rover will have more sophisticated instruments than previous rovers to study the Martian environment.
Seventh through twelfth grade students simulated a Mars rover mission this week as part of an IU robotics camp.
Purdue has been a key player in NASA missions, contributing both research and astronauts.
Purdue President Mitch Daniels co-chaired a research group that concluded that the United States should invest in a manned Mars mission.