Space

December 2, 2013

NASA taps student teams to simulate human exploration of other worlds

NASA is debuting a new engineering design challenge to engage students worldwide in the next phase of human space exploration. The NASA Human Exploration Rover Challenge is a more complex follow-on to the successful NASA Great Moonbuggy Race.

The competition is open to high school and college students and challenges them to create a vehicle designed to traverse the simulated surface of another world. Registration closes Jan. 10 for international teams and Feb. 7 for U.S. teams.

During its 20-year run, the Great Moonbuggy Race engaged more than 10,000 students and demonstrated these budding scientists and engineers were capable of even more complex undertakings. The NASA Human Exploration Rover Challenge will provide that complexity through an authentic engineering experience. The student teams will design, build and test technologies that enable vehicles to perform in a wide variety of environments. Their results and findings will inform the design process for NASA’s next generation space systems.

“We designed this engineering challenge to align with NASA’s commitment of sending humans to Mars by the 2030s,” said Rocky Lind, who manages education and outreach efforts in the Human Exploration and Operations Mission Directorate at NASA Headquarters in Washington. “The student teams will be timed, ranked and scored based on design, safety and how well they traverse the set course. The results of the competition will contribute to the design process for NASA’s future exploration goals.”

With the agency taking a stepping-stone approach to building capabilities necessary for sending astronauts to Mars, this student design challenge represents a logical next step. It also continues NASA’s effort to use the appeal and intrigue of its space missions and programs as catalysts for engaging students in STEM – science, technology, engineering and mathematics.

“Students will create their own vehicles to power around a rugged course at the final competition.” said Tammy Rowan manager of the academic affairs office at NASA’s Marshall Space Flight Center in Huntsville, Ala. “The obstacles around the course will mimic some of the real terrain challenges of solar system exploration, so students must design robust and durable rovers with the traction to scale obstacles and meet other challenges.”

The culminating event of the NASA rover competition is scheduled for April 10-12 at the U.S. Space and Rocket in Huntsville, which is home to U.S. Space Camp and serves as the official visitor center for Marshall. Corporate sponsors will award prizes for winning components of the challenge.

The planned course for the competition will require teams to traverse a terrain that includes a simulated field of asteroid debris – boulders from 5-15 inches across; an ancient stream bed with pebbles about 6 inches deep; and erosion ruts and crevasses in varying widths and depths. A full description of the obstacles and qualifications for vehicle designs can be found at the NASA Human Exploration Rover Challenge website listed below.

The NASA Human Exploration Rover Challenge looks to the next generation of scientists and engineers to aid in the design process by providing innovative designs and unique perspectives. It also continues the agency’s legacy of providing valuable experience to students who may someday be responsible for future mission planning and crewed space missions to other worlds.

For more information about the NASA Human Exploration Rover Challenge, visit http://www.nasa.gov/roverchallenge.




All of this week's top headlines to your email every Friday.


 
 

 

Headlines July 23, 2014

News: Israel’s Iron Dome defense in line for tripled U.S. spending - Israel’s iron Dome missile defense system may end up getting triple the U.S. funding that the Defense Department sought for it in March. Ukraine asked U.S. for systems to counter Russian missiles - A month before the United States says a Russian missile likely brought...
 
 

News Briefs July 23, 2014

U.S. military deaths in Afghanistan at 2,194 As of July 22, 2014, at least 2,194 members of the U.S. military had died in Afghanistan as a result of the U.S.-led invasion of Afghanistan in late 2001, according to an Associated Press count. The AP count is three less than the Defense Department’s tally. At least...
 
 
Raytheon photograph

Raytheon completes key Air, Missile Defense Radar reviews

Raytheon photograph Partially-populated, full-sized Air and Missile Defense Radar array. Raytheon has completed two critical program reviews for the new Air and Missile Defense Radar, the U.S. Navy’s next generation integ...
 

 
Insitu photograph

Insitu demonstrates long endurance capabilities of Integrator unmanned aircraft

Insitu photograph Insitu’s Integrator unmanned aircraft recovers via SkyHook; the aircraft recently completed a 24-hour endurance flight. Insitu announced July 22 the successful 24-hour flight of its Integrator unmanned a...
 
 

NASA partners punctuate summer with spacecraft development advances

Spacecraft and rocket development is on pace this summer for NASA’s aerospace industry partners for the agency’s Commercial Crew Program as they progress through systems testing, review boards and quarterly sessions under their† Space Act Agreements with the agency. NASA engineers and specialists continue their review of the progress as the agency and partners move...
 
 

U.S. Navy selects Northrop Grumman for ship self-defense system

The U.S. Navy has awarded Northrop Grumman a $12 million task order for a full range of engineering services to continue modernizing the Ship Self-Defense System Mark 2. The contract has a potential value of $61 million over five years, if all options are exercised. SSDS MK2 is a combat system designed for anti-air defense...
 




0 Comments


Be the first to comment!


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>