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Robotics Mining Competition at NASA KSC Visitor Complex

Press Release From: Kennedy Space Center
Posted: Wednesday, May 11, 2016

Teams of undergraduate and graduate students from throughout the nation will demonstrate their excavator robots May 16-20 at the Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex near NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida.

Image: Team members from Temple University prepare their custom-made remote-controlled mining robot for a test run in the mining arena during NASA's 2015 Robotic Mining Competition at the Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex in Florida. More than 40 student teams from colleges and universities around the U.S. used their mining robots on May 19, 2015, to dig in a supersized sandbox filled with regolith simulant and participated in other competition requirements. The competition is a NASA Human Exploration and Operations Mission Directorate project designed to engage and retain students in science, technology, engineering and mathematics fields by expanding opportunities for student research and design. Credits: NASA/Jim Grossmann

News media are invited to cover the event from 10 a.m. to noon EDT, Wednesday, May 18. Media interested in attending should contact Rebecca Shireman at 321-449-4273 for access to the event.

More than 45 teams have designed and built remote controlled mining robots to traverse the simulated Martian terrain and excavate simulated Martian dirt. During the competition, the teams’ robots will go head-to-head to determine which machine can collect and move the most regolith within a specified amount of time.

The competition is a NASA Human Exploration and Operations Mission Directorate project designed to engage and retain students in science, technology, engineering and math or STEM fields by expanding opportunities for student research and design. The project provides a competitive environment to foster innovative ideas and solutions that could potentially be used on NASA’s journey to Mars.

Although the competition is for college students, the event offers many opportunities for students of all ages. NASA is hosting a college recruitment fair for high school sophomores, juniors and seniors showcasing STEM education opportunities available at top colleges and universities across the nation. The event also will offer additional STEM activities for students of all ages.

For more information on the competition, associated activities and social media links to participate virtually, visit:

http://www.nasa.gov/nasarmc

Video highlights of the practice and competition will air on the NASA Television Video File. For downlink information, schedules and links to streaming video, visit:

http://www.nasa.gov/ntv

For information about the Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex, visit:

http://www.kennedyspacecenter.com

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