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Students Take Mars Society’s Rover Challenge

posted Jun 1, 2013, 7:27 AM by M Stoltz   [ updated Jun 1, 2013, 7:28 AM ]
By DJ Summers, Salt Lake Tribune, 05.31.13  

Hanksville • Southern Utah’s iron-red plateaus feel Martian and make the wandering robot digging for chlorophyll feel strangely appropriate.

"Chlorophyll is often a sign of water," explains David Allred, a Brigham Young University physics professor whose students are controlling the robot from a van a hundred yards away.

The University Rover Challenge just outside Hanksville challenges teams of science and engineering students to build a rover for a theoretical Mars mission. Each rover must meet a weight requirement and be remotely controlled by the students.

For the past seven years, university students from across the world have competed for a $5,000 prize, a year’s worth of bragging rights and the privilege to present their design to the Mars Society.

The Mars Society is an organization founded 16 years ago to promote human Mars exploration through practical experiments. The clear emphasis is on collaborative effort and experiential work.

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