New Space and Tech

2011 Exploration Robo-Ops Student Challenge

By Keith Cowing
April 8, 2013
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NASA and the National Institute of Aerospace have launched a new planetary rover engineering competition called the Exploration Robo-Ops Student Challenge. This competition challenges university teams to design and build a planetary rover. Teams will then demonstrate their rover’s capability to perform a series of competitive tasks at the Rock Yard of NASA’s Johnson Space Center in Houston in May 2011.

Student teams at graduate and undergraduate levels are eligible to compete. Teams must submit a Project Plan Proposal by Dec. 15, 2010. The project plans will be reviewed, and up to ten qualifying teams will be announced no later than Dec. 23, 2010.
Teams that qualify will receive $5,000 to partially offset the cost of rover hardware and another $5,000 to off-set travel costs to send two students, a faculty advisor and their rover to NASA’s Johnson Space Center for four days. Other team members will remain back at the university to conduct the remote control elements of the competition. Each rover must be able to be controlled from the home university campus through a commercial broadband wireless uplink and negotiate a series of obstacles while accomplishing tasks in the quickest time. Cameras will transmit the competition back to the universities and to the public.

For more information about this competition, visit

If you have questions about this competition, please contact Shelley Spears at

SpaceRef co-founder, Explorers Club Fellow, ex-NASA, Away Teams, Journalist, Space & Astrobiology, Lapsed climber.