This year almost 40 teams from twelve countries have a chance to compete in the second edition of the European Rover Challenge, an international competition of Mars robots.
The competition will be held on 5-6 September 2015 on the premises of the Regional Science-Technology Centre in Podzamcze near Kielce, Poland.
The event is free and open to all lovers of science and space.
Among the competitors there are: the American Yale University, multiple laureates of the American edition of the competition from the Białystok University of Technology or the last year laureates of ERC from the Kielce University of Technology and the Cairo University.
This is certainly a record in the history of similar competitions around the world where the second edition garners such a high number of interested teams. Thus, it is now a fact that the European Rover Challenge became appreciated as a prestigious event as University Rover Challenge in United States – says Łukasz Wilczyński from the European Space Foundation, the organizer of ERC.
The goal of the teams is to build a robot that will compete in simulated navigational, geological and field Mars tasks.
The competition will be judged by experts from the European Space Agency.
The competition is accompanied by the Science and Technology Picnic during which companies and institutions will present the latest achievements in the fields of science and technology. It will be accompanied by scientific and technological presentations and meetings with experts.
The ERC competition will be preceded by the Space Days Poland business conference. The goal of which is to combine the interests of the space sector with companies and institutions from various industries that are interested in establishing trade relations, transferring the developed technologies or experiences in project management.
The ERC will have some special guests.
Andy Weir, the author of the best-selling The Martian, which is now being filmed by Ridley Scott, will meet with his Polish fans during the first day of the European Rover Challenge (ERC 2015).
Film The Martian, starring Matt Damon, will not premiere until November, but already in September the ERC guests will be the first in Poland to have the opportunity to talk to the author of the book.
The European Rover Challenge will also be a European debut for an American comic book series Generation One – Children of Mars. The authors, using the available scientific knowledge, created a story for children and teenagers about the first generation that was born and raised on Mars.
In terms of science, both the novel and the comic book are very accurate, says Lukasz Wilczynski, President of the European Space Foundation and organizer of the European Rover Challenge. Most of the technologies described in these publications actually exist. The authors are passionate about physics, new technology and the space.
The Challenge will have one more special guest. It is Harrison Schmitt, an American geologist, retired NASA astronaut, university professor and former U.S. senator from New Mexico.
More information about the challenge can be found at www.roverchallenge.eu.