An Airbus Exomars rover prototype. Credit: Airbus Space and Defence UK

The first UK University Rover Challenge is shaping up into a unique event, taking place in Manchester July 23-24 during the ESOF conference as part of Manchester’s role as European City of Science 2016. The 2016 American version of this competition had in the region of 70 entries from around the world (none from the UK) with only the capacity to take 30 teams, so this kind of project is in demand.

The Mars Society is now confirming a deadline of April 15th for teams to complete the simple entry procedure which can be found here

A Starchaser rocket

The UK challenge will be taking place in one of Manchester’s most interesting public squares, with a purpose build temporary ‘Mars Yard’ on the undulating Cathedral Gardens next to the National Football Museum. There will also be exhibitors supporting the event, among them Airbus Defence and Space UK, and Manchester’s Starchaser Industries. Airbus are making the hardware for the European Space Agency’s Exomars missions, developing the first European rover to go to Mars – a direct industry link with the

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A Starchaser rocket. Starchaser are supporters of the Mars Society helped fund the Mars Soceity’s Arctic research station

competition. Starchaser Industries will have information on their commercial spaceflight program, and display which will include  an 11m tall rocket.

“We’ve had a lot of interest from overseas universities, from the USA, India, Asia and Europe, but we still want to hear from UK universities who just have time to get involved in this amazing opportunity” says UKURC Director Rob Adlard.

Visit http://www.marssoc.uk/ukurc for more information, and visit http://urc.marssociety.org/ for the USA’s successful university rover challenge.