Space Rover Chal­lenge takes ad­van­tage of Val­ley land­scape

The Drumheller Mail - - NEWS - Pa­trick Ko­lafa The Drumheller Mail

The Mar­tian land­scape of Drumheller was used to the fullest last week­end as the first Cana­dian In­ter­na­tional Rover Chal­lenge took on the hills. The Univer­sity of Saskatchewan Space De­sign Team has or­ga­nized the week­end. There was also a team from Car­leton Univer­sity in Ot­tawa and ob­servers from the Mis­souri In­sti­tute of De­sign and Tech­nol­ogy. “The premise of the com­pe­ti­tion is there is an es­tab­lish­ment of habi­ta­tion on an ex­trater­ri­to­rial body, in this case, Mars, and the univer­sity teams have to de­sign a rover that as­sists that es­tab­lish­ment,” ex­plains Justin Gerein, a mem­ber of the Saskatchewan club. The rover teams were chal­lenged with tasks such as re­trieval of items in rough ter­rain or sim­u­lat­ing prospect­ing for things such as re­sources or signs of life.

This is the first year of the Cana­dian event. Many of the stu­dents have trav­eled to other com­pe­ti­tions in­clud­ing the

United King­dom, and the premier Univer­sity Rover Chal­lenges at the Mars Desert Re­search Sta­tion in Utah.

Gerein said Drumheller is well suited for the com­peti- tion.

“It of­fers more op­por­tu­ni­ties for ter­rain that would be like on Mars; the dry, the rough, the iron rich soils,” he said. “We could have gone to the Bad­lands of Saskatchewan and found sim­i­lar ter­rain, but there is in­fra­struc­ture here to sup­port at­ten­dance.”

The chal­lenges took place through­out Satur­day and Sun­day at Mid­land Pro­vin­cial Park and McMullen Is­land. Spec­ta­tors came out to check out the ac­tion.

Mem­bers of the Car­leton Univer­sity team pre­pare their rover for the chal­lenge this week­end

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