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Five students in mechanical engineering among winners at NASA Rover Challenge

By Joe McAdory

Published: May 19, 2022 7:20:00 AM

Clay Vinson, Shannon Minnich, Julia Hancock, Lucas Vail and Joel Edison. Clay Vinson, Shannon Minnich, Julia Hancock, Lucas Vail and Joel Edison.

Five Auburn mechanical engineering students were among the winners at the recent NASA Human Exploration Challenge.

Clay Vinson, Julia Hancock, Lucas Vail, Shannon Minnich and Joel Eidson earned the challenge’s “Project Review Award” in a contest, held October 21-April 29 that asked students from 58 universities to design, develop, build, and test human-powered rovers capable of traversing challenging rocky terrains found in the solar system. The challenge also tasked teams with performing mission assignments while negotiating a rocky course, including sample retrievals and spectrographic analysis.

“This year, students were asked to design a course that would mimic obstacles as if they were competing in Huntsville,” said Aundra Brooks-Davenport, activity lead for the challenge at Marshall Space Flight Center. “Ensuring team safety was a major factor in developing the design of their own obstacles. We are excited about the virtual competition and the opportunity it provided our teams.”

Media Contact: Joe McAdory, jem0040@auburn.edu, 334.844.3447

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