Three Indian teams win awards at NASA annual rover challenge

The rover’s drill chewed easily through the rock, unlike some of the tougher targets it faced nearby on Vera Rubin Ridge.

NASA has awarded three teams from India as part of the US space agency’s annual Human Exploration Rover Challenge which invites high school and college students to build and test roving vehicles for future missions to the Moon, Mars and beyond.

The Mukesh Patel School of Technology Management and Engineering from Mumbai, Maharashtra, won the “Frank Joe Sexton Memorial Pit Crew Award” — for ingenuity and persistence in overcoming problems during the race — as well as the “System Safety Challenge Award”.

Nearly 100 teams took part in the competition, hailing from a record number of countries, including the US, Bangladesh, Bolivia, Brazil, the Dominican Republic, Egypt, Ethiopia, Germany, Mexico, Morocco and Peru.

“We are so proud to congratulate this year’s winners, and every team that competed,” said Bob Musgrove, Acting Manager of the Office of STEM Engagement at Marshall.”The creativity, skill and resourcefulness demonstrated each year on the rover course are the very traits that paved our path to the Moon in 1969, and the ones that will continue to carry NASA forward to the Moon again in 2024,” said Musgrove.

After constructing their own rovers, teams attempt to traverse a nearly three-quarter-mile course with gruelling obstacles that simulate terrain found on Mars, as well as other planets, moons and asteroids throughout the solar system.

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