Missouri S&T Mars Rover Design Team finishes third in University Rover Challenge

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On June 6, 2022

The Mars Rover Design Team’s 2022 rover, Prometheus, during a test at Fugitive Beach prior to leaving for competition. Photo by Michael Pierce/Missouri S&T

The Mars Rover Design Team at Missouri S&T was among the top finishers in the annual University Rover Challenge, an international competition held at the Mars Desert Research Station in Hanksville, Utah. The Missouri S&T team came in third overall in the event, which was won by a team from the University of Michigan.

The competition consisted of four missions in which the rover had to carry out a variety of tasks, and a review of the rover’s design. The rover had to maneuver through soft sand and rocky terrain, around vertical drops and steep slopes, as well as navigate autonomously for certain parts of the challenge.

Missouri S&T’s rover, Prometheus, came in first in the design review with a score of 94 out of a possible 100 points. The team also tied for first in the equipment servicing and extreme retrieval and delivery missions.

The Mars Rover Design Team competed against 35 other teams from around the world. Countries represented include Australia, Bangladesh, Canada, Colombia, Egypt, India, Mexico, Poland and Turkey, in addition to numerous teams from the United States.

This year’s competition was the first in-person event since 2019. The 2020 and 2021 events were cancelled due to COVID-19. Missouri S&T teams have performed well in previous competitions, including a fifth-place finish in 2019 and a first-place finish in 2017.

The Mars Rover Design Team is one of 19 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.

About Missouri University of Science and Technology

Missouri University of Science and Technology (Missouri S&T) is a STEM-focused research university of over 7,200 students. Part of the four-campus University of Missouri System and located in Rolla, Missouri, Missouri S&T offers 101 degrees in 40 areas of study and is among the nation’s top 10 universities for return on investment, according to Business Insider. S&T also is home to the Kummer Institute, made possible by a $300 million gift from Fred and June Kummer. For more information about Missouri S&T, visit www.mst.edu.

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