URC News

Protocase Returns as Sponsor for 2024 University Rover Challenge Under New Aerospace Division ProtoSpace Mfg (November 7, 2023)

The Mars Society is proud to welcome Protocase back as a major sponsor of the world-renowned University Rover Challenge! This year will mark the first official sponsorship under Protocase’s new aerospace division, ProtoSpace Mfg.

ProtoSpace Mfg tackles long supplier lead times that have become the norm in the aerospace and defense industries. It harnesses the unique mass custom manufacturing system pioneered by Protocase to make custom parts and enclosures in 2-3 days, while also checking all of the boxes required in aerospace and defense, including AS9100, traceability and ITAR compliance. Same with Protocase, the ProtoSpace Mfg division never requires a minimum order.

“Teams can accelerate the development of their 2024 Mars Rover with ProtoSpace Mfg fast custom manufacturing, in the same way teams have been using Protocase for the past nine years,” says Allison MacDonald, Marketing Manager for ProtoSpace Mfg. “We look forward to giving students a professional experience that will save them immense amounts of time and energy, in exactly the same manner that our customers in aerospace and defense do every day to revolutionize the way they work.”

Instead of using critical design time and effort taking off-the-shelf enclosures, parts and components and modifying them to fit your Mars rover design, all teams registered in the 2024 University Rover Challenge can deploy ProtoSpace Mfg’s state-of-the-art manufacturing to get the exact parts they require.

URC2024 ProtoSpace Mfg Sponsorship

The ProtoSpace Mfg Sponsorship will be similar to the sponsorship offered in previous years:

Check out The Journey of the University Rover Challenge, which documents the experience of URC teams who worked with Protocase during previous installments of the University Rover Challenge.

How Teams Can Work With ProtoSpace Mfg

Once a team is registered for the 2024 University Rover Challenge, team leads or other team members can email info@protocase.com to be connected with their designated account manager.

To learn more about ProtoSpace Mfg custom sheet metal fabrication and CNC Machining, check out the company’s website, Proto Tech Tip videos and blog. Additional details regarding the Protocase manufacturing process and important design guidelines will be available to teams in the coming weeks.

ProtoSpace Mfg and URC will also be teaming up again to produce a webinar series featuring topics of interest and helpful educational topics related to URC! We strongly encourage teams sign-up for the following webinars before working with us:

Webinar #1 Creating a Manufacturable Design - Thursday, November 16th @ 2pm EST (https://attendee.gotowebinar.com/register/6831034181435273558)

Webinar #2 How to Quote and Order - Friday, November 17th @ 2pm EST (https://attendee.gotowebinar.com/register/8654911766171682904)

Webinar #3 – Understanding the DNA of a Project - Thursday, December 7th @ 2pm EST (https://attendee.gotowebinar.com/register/960073097669738841)

2024 University Rover Challenge Rules Released (September 24, 2023)

The University Rover Challenge is excited to announce the release of the rules for URC2024!

Click here for the URC2024 rules

Registration for the 2024 competition will open on October 1, 2023, and will close on October 25, 2023. All registered teams will be required to submit a Preliminary Design Review package by December 1, 2023, and a System Acceptance Review milestone will follow on March 1, 2024. The top 36 teams will be selected to compete in the 2024 University Rover Challenge Finals, held May 29 - June 1, 2024 at the renowned Mars Desert Research Station.

Teams and rovers will compete in 4 missions in 2024: the Science Mission, Delivery Mission, Equipment Servicing Mission, and Autonomous Navigation Mission.