MIT students bag third place in rover design challenge

The challenge was to design Mars rovers that are fully equipped and mission-ready for actual operations

Students of Manipal Institute of Technology (MIT) bagged the third position in the second edition of International Rover Design Challenge (IRDC) 2021, as announced by The Mars Society South Asia (MSSA). The second edition of IRDC was organised by MSSA this year.

MSSA is the official chapter of The Mars Society for the South Asian region. The Mars Society is the world’s largest, most influential space advocacy organisation dedicated to the human exploration and settlement of Mars. The MIT team, Mars Rover Manipal, had to submit a System Concept Review within a set time-frame and scored 530 points, a release said.

Mars Rover Manipal had 30 members from second and third year engineering streams designing rover parts keeping in mind the various factors that would be different on Mars. They were expected to carefully plan each subsystem of the rover, considering various extra-terrestrial conditions and parameters in the design. A 26-page report which included CAD, simulation, PCBs, graphs and flowcharts were submitted, along with a short video. The competition was entirely virtual and submission was from home.


IRDC, an online competition for university students, challenges teams to design Mars rovers that are fully equipped and mission-ready for actual operations on Mars. Students are encouraged to be as imaginative, creative and insightful as possible within the practical and implementable limits of humans. The competition took place during July-September and 32 teams from four countries (India, Poland, Sri Lanka and Bangladesh) participated.

MIT Director Cdr. Anil Rana congratulated the team.

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