The teams will be required to design, build, and test lightweight, human-powered rovers on an obstacle course simulating lunar and Martian terrain near NASA’s Marshall Space Flight Centre in Alabama.
Students from Alabama A&M University near Huntsville, Alabama, pilot their vehicle through the obstacle course at the U.S. Space and Rocket Centre during NASA’s Human Exploration Rover Challenge event on April 22, 2023 / (Image – NASA)
Seven student teams from India were selected for the NASA Human Exploration Rover Challenge (HERC) 2024. The HERC will take place at the U.S. Space and Rocket Centre, Huntsville, Alabama between April 19 and 20, 2024. NASA has selected 72 student teams from across the U.S. and the world.
The Indian teams selected by the organization are from Birla Institute of Technology and Science, Pilani, Goa Campus; Candor International, Bengaluru; Kanakia International School, Mumbai; KIET Group of Institutions, Delhi-NCR; Punjab Engineering College, Chandigarh; Vellore Institute of Technology, Chennai; Young Mind Research and Development, Faridabad.
All selected teams are required to begin an engineering design challenge to build human-powered rovers that will compete at the competition venue, near NASA’s Marshall Space Flight Centre. Student teams will design, build, and test lightweight, human-powered rovers on an obstacle course simulating lunar and Martian terrain, all while completing mission-focused science tasks, according to a NASA news release.
Participating teams will be required to mirror the process used by NASA engineers and scientists while completing the design and safety reviews. They must also consider using lightweight construction materials to replicate payload restrictions of NASA launch operations. Teams will earn points throughout the year by completing design reviews and producing a rover capable of meeting all criteria while completing course obstacles and mission tasks. The challenge will conclude with two events in April 2024.