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Kevin Sloan, Monday, 6-17-13 June 18, 2013

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Kevin Sloan, Monday, 6-17-13


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Guest:  Kevin Sloan.  Topics:  Mars Society University Rover Challenge 2013, rover deign, simulated Martian tests.  Please direct all comments and questions regarding Space Show programs/guest(s) to the Space Show blog, https://thespaceshow.wordpress.com.
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We welcomed back Kevin Sloan to the program to discuss the Mars Society 2013 University Rover Challenge (URC).  For more information, visit their website, http://urc.marssociety.org.  During the first segment of our 90 minute discussion, Kevin went over the rules and the goals of this year’s 2013 URC, then he told us about the near perfect score by the Polish team, Hyperion, representing Bialystok University of Technology.  Kevin had much to say about this team, how it turned in a near perfect score, what the Hyperion rover was able to do that other rovers could not do, and the need for next year’s judges to think of more challenging goals as everyone was taken by surprise with the success of the Hyperion Team.  We spoke about the international nature of the contest with teams from Poland, India, Canada, and the U.S.  We talked about the outstanding job done by the Mars Society of Poland in making sure universities there knew about the competition and those that could participated.  Kevin fielded listener questions via email regarding entering the contest, team costs, other U.S. school participation, the international representation, and questions about Hanksville, UT which is where the competition was held.  He was also asked about coming to see the competition and IP rights regarding the rovers.  Since the competition takes place near MDRS, listeners also inquired about this Mars Society program.

In the second segment, Doug asked if the URC was to encourage robotics education & does it lead to ideas actually being used on a Mars mission? He also wanted to know that apart from the Lunar Regolith Excavation Challenge, were there any other lunar equivalent challenges & was the URC applicable to the Moon.  Kevin was also asked about contestants using JPL rovers as possible models and the use of JPL or other industry consultants.  The various teams & their countries were discussed in this segment as were some of the URC rules.  Eric asked two good questions near the end of the program including the use of 3D printing & the arbitrary definition of higher-education.  Toward the end, Kevin described the winning Hyperion team performance, especially to the 5th Gate!  Don’t miss it.

Please post your comments/questions on The Space Show blog above.  Kevin can be reached through the URC website.



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