Press Release

NASA JSC Hosts National Underwater Robotics Competition

By SpaceRef Editor
June 8, 2005
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NASA’s Johnson Space Center (JSC) will host the fourth annual underwater remotely operated vehicle student competition June 17-19, organized by the Marine Advanced Technology Education (MATE) Center and the Marine Technology Society.

Underwater robots designed, built and operated by middle school through university students from across the United States and Canada will be tested by their creators in JSC’s Sonny Carter Training Facility neutral buoyancy pool. At 200 feet long, 100 feet wide, 40 feet deep and holding 6.2 million gallons of water, it is the largest swimming pool in the world.

Competition scenarios in two different robot classes involve restoring communication with an instrument package and retrieving samples from the waters that lie beneath the Jupiter moon Europa’s ice-crusted surface, or capping an old oil well, repairing a damaged sub-sea telecommunications cable and installing a new instrument on the Hubble space telescope.

Media are invited to witness the competition from 10 a.m.-4 p.m. CDT Saturday, June 18. Forty-two student teams from across North America, including the top two teams from six regional competitions, are expected to participate. JSC hosted this year’s Texas regional competition in April, as well as in 2003 and 2004.

The competition is funded by the National Science Foundation and National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration with help from other ocean- and space-related organizations.

For more information about the MATE center or the competition, visit:

For information about NASA and agency programs on the Internet, visit:

SpaceRef staff editor.