NASA Challenge for Human Space Exploration

NASA is debuting a new engineering design challenge to engage students worldwide in the next phase of human space exploration.

The NASA Human Exploration Rover Challenge is a more complex follow-on to the NASA Great Moonbuggy Race.

The competition is open to high school and college students and challenges them to create a vehicle designed to traverse the simulated surface of another world. Registration closes Jan. 10, 2014 for international teams and Feb. 7 for U.S. Teams.

During its 20-year run, the Great Moonbuggy Race engaged more than 10,000 students and demonstrated these budding scientists and engineers were capable of even more complex undertakings.

The NASA Human Exploration Rover Challenge will provide that complexity through an authentic engineering experience. The student teams will design, build and test technologies that enable vehicles to perform in a wide variety of environments. Their results and findings will inform the design process for NASA’s next generation space systems.

With the agency taking a stepping-stone approach to building capabilities necessary for sending astronauts to Mars, this student design challenge represents a logical next step, said NASA.

It also continues NASA’s effort to use the appeal and intrigue of its space missions and programs as catalysts for engaging students in STEM – science, technology, engineering and mathematics.

The culminating event of the NASA rover competition is scheduled for April 10-12 at the U.S. Space and Rocket in Huntsville, which is home to U.S. Space Camp and serves as the official visitor center for Marshall. Corporate sponsors will award prizes for winning components of the challenge.

For more information about the NASA Human Exploration Rover Challenge, visit: http://www.nasa.gov/roverchallenge

Photo courtesy: NASA

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