Indian team 'Team Technovators' completes rover challenge at NASA

As part of the challenge, students were required to design, build, test and race human-powered rovers, driven by one male and one female team member. 

By Zee Media Bureau | Updated: Apr 17, 2017, 10:36 AM IST
Indian team 'Team Technovators' completes rover challenge at NASA

New Delhi: A team of six Indian students led by a Barodian successfully completed the NASA's Human Exploration Rover Challenge at the US Space & Rocket Center in Huntsville, Alabama.

As per a report on TOI, the team, which comprises six undergraduate students, represented India at NASA in the recent rover challenge.

The Indian team known as 'Team Technovators' was led by Tirth Shah, who is currently studying at NMIMS Mukesh Patel School of Technology Management and Engineering in Mumbai.

As part of the challenge, students were required to design, build, test and race human-powered rovers, driven by one male and one female team member. The nearly three-quarter-mile course boasts 17 grueling obstacles that simulate terrain found on Mars, as well as other planets, moons and asteroids throughout the solar system.

A total of 99 teams including those from Brazil, Russia, Japan, Germany and Mexico participated in the challenge, apart from those within the US.

“We had designed, fabricated and tested the rover which is capable of operating at the harsh terrains of various celestial bodies of the solar system. The challenge included designing, constructing and testing technologies for mobility devices to perform in environments of different celestial bodies of the solar system. It also included developing an advanced telemetry system along with features for astronaut safety,” Shah was quoted as saying.

He said that the design of their rover was appreciated by Dr Gerald Fishman, chief scientist at NASA.

"Just the way astronauts retrieve samples from other planets and moons, a mechanism for retrieval of samples was also to be made. The rover was tested at the US Space and Rocket Center in Huntsville, Alabama where the surface of Mars and Moon were simulated. The rover is human powered," he added.

Shah added that because of its unique nature, the team has also filed for a patent for the design of the rover.

Besides Shah, five other Indian students who took part at the rover challenge are - Anyun Sharma from Vadodara, Birva Ghodasara from Rajkot, Chirag Kulkarni from New Delhi, Dishit Kalsaria from Mumbai and Sarthak Agarwal from Mumbai.

The Rover Challenge highlights NASA’s goals for future exploration to Mars and beyond. Inspired by the lunar roving vehicles of the Apollo moon missions, the competition challenges students to solve engineering problems, while highlighting NASA's commitment to inspiring new generations of scientists, engineers and explorers.