Over 100 teams to participate for NASA's 2020 human exploration rover challenge

WION Web Team New Delhi, Delhi, India Feb 19, 2020, 11.50 PM(IST)

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According to the statement, over 100 teams are expected to participate, including teams from 27 states and 11 countries. The countries include Brazil, Germany, Egypt, Singapore, India and Mexico.

Teams from around the globe will compete in NASA's Human Exploration Rover Challenge at the US Space & Rocket Center in Aprile, the space agency announced on Wednesday.

According to the statement, over 100 teams are expected to participate, including teams from 27 states and 11 countries. The countries include Brazil, Germany, Egypt, Singapore, India and Mexico.

"The 26th edition of the annual event, managed by the Office of STEM Engagement at NASA's Marshall Space Flight Center in Huntsville, features students from high schools, colleges and universities around the world designing, engineering and testing a human-powered rover to take on a course simulating terrain found on the Moon and Mars, as well as other planets, moons and asteroids," NASA said in the announcement.

One female and one male driver will pilot each team’s lightweight rover across a gruelling half-mile course that features obstacles and scientific challenges designed to force teams to think like NASA mission planners and planetary explorers.

"While previous contests focused on finishing the course as quickly as possible, the challenge now focuses on strategy over speed," NASA stated.

The participants will be given a course map and task descriptions before the event which would allow them to devise a plan of attack that would suit the strengths of each team.

 "Among the rule changes for the 2020 challenge is the addition of one minute -- for a total of eight minutes -- to finish the course, which gives teams a greater opportunity to complete more of the optional 14 obstacles and five science tasks. Additionally, NASA no longer allows teams to utilize pneumatic tires or other commercially purchased wheels on their vehicles."

Rover Challenge reflects the goals of NASA's Artemis Program, which seeks to put the first woman and next man on the Moon by 2024.

Like the Artemis Program, the event draws the best and brightest minds from around the world. Through the event, NASA hopes to engage, inspire and develop the next generation of engineers, scientists, astronauts, mission planner and NASA team members.