The Missouri S&T Mars Rover Design Team will aim to retake the title of world champion in 2019 and will begin by unveiling Valkyrie, this year’s student-built rover, at a ceremony scheduled for 1:30 p.m. Saturday, March 9, in the Havener Center atrium on the S&T campus.
After unveiling Valkyrie, the team will host a meet-and-greet with team members and showcase various parts and aspects of the rover. The event is free and open to the public.
The team has applied to compete at the Mars Society’s 2019 University Rover Challenge, May 30-June 1 at the Mars Desert Research Station in Hanksville, Utah. Approximately 35 university teams from around the world will compete at the event. Missouri S&T won the 2017 competition, becoming the first U.S. team to earn first in the past seven years, and earned second place in 2018.
The competition requires students to design and build the potential next generation of Mars rovers capable of working on the red planet and supporting future astronaut missions. Missouri S&T’s team began work on its rover in the fall and is now testing and refining it in preparation for the competition. During the competition, teams will maneuver their rovers across rough terrain and complete a series of tasks.
The Mars Rover Design Team is one of 20 student-run teams in Missouri S&T’s Student Design and Experiential Learning Center (SDELC). The SDELC, housed in the Kummer Student Design Center, provides real-world team-based operations, including computer design laboratories, a manufacturing shop, office space and logistical support. Design teams mirror small start-up companies that plan large-scale projects, organize into departments, raise funds, communicate their ideas, and solve open-ended design challenges. Most teams compete annually against other collegiate teams from around the country and the world. For more information about the teams, visit design.mst.edu.