Two Indian student groups have won the NASA 2022 Human Exploration Rover Challenge to identify a new generation of space explorers.
Announced 91 teams, including 58 colleges and 33 high schools, participated in the Virtual Awards Ceremony on April 29 by the National Aeronautics and Space Administration.
The Decent Children Model Presidency School from Punjab won the STEM Engagement Award in the High School category. The team from Vellore Institute of Technology, Tamil Nadu won the Social Media Award in the College / University category.
The challenge requires US and international student teams to design, engineer and test a man-powered rover in a course that mimics the terrain visible on rocky objects in the solar system. The teams also conducted mission assignments, including sample retrievals and spectrographic analysis, while discussing the course.
High school and college teams competed in a number of categories for design, documentation, and presentation, including the Safety Award, the Project Review Award, and more.
Acting lead for the challenge at the Marshall Space Flight Center in Huntsville, Alabama, Andra Brooks-Davenport said, “This year, students are asked to design a course that mimics obstacles as they compete in Huntsville.
“Ensuring team security is a key component in developing their own barrier design. We are excited about the virtual competition and the opportunity provided to our teams,” Brooks-Davenport reported.
The challenge is handled by NASA’s STEM Engagement Office. It uses challenges and competitions to further the agency’s goal of encouraging students to pursue degrees and careers in the fields of science, technology, engineering and mathematics.