Missouri University of Science and Technology’s Mars Rover Design Team earned fifth place among 22 teams in an international competition that challenged students to design, build and operate the next generation of Mars rovers.
The University Rover Challenge was held May 28-30 at the Mars Desert Research Station in Hanksville, Utah. Prior to the start of the competition, the students were required to submit a video presentation that explained the design and cost of their rover. Students also had to submit a detailed final expense report to competition judges.
At the competition, the team competed in four active rover events. An astronaut assistance task required teams to use the rover to collect lost tools left in the field and deliver them to multiple locations. An equipment servicing task required the rover to repair a mock equipment system. A sample return task required the rover to take soil samples at selected sites in the field and use onboard instrumentation to perform a basic scientific evaluations on the samples. A terrain traversing task required rovers to maneuver through a variety of difficult terrains that simulate the surface of Mars.
Missouri S&T’s Mars Rover, named Horizon, features custom circuitry, machined aluminum and carbon-fiber support structure, carbon-fiber wheels, 3-D printed gears and drill bits, and a frame cut using water-jet technology at Missouri S&T’s Rock Mechanics and Explosives Research Center.
This fall, the team will compete in the European Rover Challenge Sept. 5-6 in Podzamcze, Poland. Missouri S&T is one of three teams from the United States registered to compete at the event. The Mars Rover Design Team successfully raised $20,000 through a crowdfunding project to cover its travel expenses. The crowdfunding effort raised 128 percent of the team’s goal at crowdfunding.mst.edu.
For more information about the competition, visit urc.marssociety.org.