Two PNW teams design and create rovers capable of traversing the exo-planetary-like landscape
Purdue Northwest (PNW) engineering students competed in the Human Exploration Rover Challenge held April 13 and 14 at the U.S. Space & Rocket Center in Huntsville, Alabama. The competition, hosted by NASA’s Marshall Space Flight Center, involved more than 100 teams including participants from 23 states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, and several countries, including Brazil, Germany, India, and Mexico.
Two teams of PNW engineering students put their skills to work not only designing and building the rovers capable of traversing an exo-planetary landscape, but in navigating through a series of tasks and having to make real-time decisions about which mission objectives to attempt and which to leave behind—all driven by a limited, virtual six-minute supply of oxygen with a one-minute reserve.
Team One representing PNW in the Challenge were senior engineering students who also used the competition as part of their Senior Design Project: Ben Haczynski, Brandon Lindmark, Christina Kotas, Tiffani Kotas, Davin Ladic, and Alex Begala. Team Two was comprised of freshman Ryan Harker, sophomore Anastasia Ahearn, juniors Julia Brown and Aaron Kruse, and senior Jake Manzo.
This was the 24th NASA Human Exploration Rover competition designed to challenge high school and college teams to design, build, and test human-powered roving vehicles inspired by the Apollo lunar missions and future exploration missions to the moon, Mars and beyond. The Challenge is one of many NASA initiatives designed to encourage students to concentrate on the STEM fields of science, technology, engineering and math, and to inspire the next generation of explorers.