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Media Kit

As a member of the media, can I attend?
Yes! Please contact Kevin Sloan (kevin@marssociety.org) to register.
Where does URC take place?
URC takes place at the Mars Desert Research Station (MDRS), just outside of Hanksville, Utah.  To get to Hanksville, exit I-70 onto UT 24W (heading south) for approximately 45 miles.  UT 24 intersects UT 95 at a T-intersection in downtown Hanksville.
We strongly encourage all first time visitors to make the drive when accompanied by a member of the URC staff (or somebody who knows the way).  From the above intersection, to reach MDRS, turn right to stay on UT 24W.  After approximately 3.75 miles (just past mile marker 113), turn right onto Cow Dung Road (this is a dirt road).  Within the first quarter mile on Cow Dung Road, you will cross a cattle grate, and proceed down a steep, but short, incline.  Proceed with caution down Cow Dung Road.  After 3.2 miles, stay left at the fork.  Drive another 0.15 miles to reach MDRS.  The map below highlights several points of interest.

MDRS, Hanksville, and points of interest

Where do the URC tasks take place?
The four tasks involving the rover take place at 3 separate sites near MDRS:
"North Site" - located approximately 1km north of the MDRS Hab along Cow Dung Road.
"Hab Site" - located at the Hab.
"South Site" - located approximately 1km south of the MDRS Hab along Cown Dung Road.
What is the high-level schedule?
Can I film/interview teams?
As long as you are not interfering with the team's ability to compete, and they grant permission, yes!
Can I film/interview the judges and staff?
As long as you are not interfering with the judges/staff's ability to conduct the competition, yes!
What are the events?
  • Sample Cache Task - Collect a sub-surface soil sample, and return it in a cache container.  Later in the competition teams will analyze their sample, and deliver a field briefing to the judges discussing its scientific significance.
  • Autonomous Traversal Task - Travel between markers in the field without human intervention.
  • Equipment Servicing Task - Approach a simulated generator, conduct a refueling operation, and move an oxygen regulator.
  • Extreme Retrieval and Delivery Task - Navigate across extremely difficult terrain to recover and deliver tools to astronauts.
What teams are competing?
See the Team Info page.