4 Indian teams participating in NASA’s rover challenge this year
4 teams of Indian students from leading engineering institutes are among 80 teams that are participating in NASA’s Human Exploration Rover Challenge that requires creation of human-powered rovers designed to explore the surface of Mars, distant planets, asteroids or moons.
NASA’s annual Rover Challenge which started yesterday will see almost 80 teams from India, US, Italy, Germany, Mexico, Colombia, Russia and Puerto Rico competing against each other at the US Space and Rocket Centre in Alabama
4 groups of Indian students are among 80 teams that will participate in NASA’s Human Exploration Rover Challenge that requires creation of human-powered rovers designed to explore the surface of Mars, distant planets, asteroids or moons.
These include teams from the Mukesh Patel School of Technology Management and Engineering in Maharashtra, Indian Institute of Technology (IIT)-Roorkee in Uttarakhand, Sathyabama University in Tamil Nadu and Skyline Institute of Engineering and Technology in Uttar Pradesh.
The rover challenge is designed to make student teams design, construct, test and race human-powered rovers through an obstacle course that simulates the terrain potentially found on distant planets, asteroids or moons. Teams whose rovers cover the three-quarter-mile-long obstacle course in the fastest time stay in the consideration for prizes in various divisions.
The event concludes tomorrow, April 9 at the Davidson Centre for Space Exploration, where awards will be presented for best design, rookie team, pit crew award and other accomplishments, NASA said.
This year the even incorporates 2 new and important changes. Teams now are required to design and fabricate their own wheels. Earlier they could however pick components like wheels, tracks, treads or belts off-the-shelf.
The second change is the optional Sample Return challenge. Teams competing in this separate competition will collect 4 samples – liquid, small pebbles, large rocks and soil samples – using a mechanical arm or grabber again designed and build by the team.
The Human Exploration Rover Challenge highlights NASA’s goals for future exploration to Mars and beyond. Inspired by the lunar roving vehicles of the Apollo moon missions, the competition challenges students to solve engineering problems.
4 Teams out of 80 is a healthy participation by Indian schools. However, by no means is it something to gloat about. In fact, this the platform from where Indian students have to leapfrog and prove that brilliance is found early on here and not nurtured in foreign lands as is the case with university students.