Kerala students to compete in designing rover for Mars mission
A team of students from an Engineering college in Kerala have been selected to compete, for the first time, in the University Rover Challenge in the US to design and build next generation of Mars rovers.

The five-member team from the Toc-H Institute of Scienceand Technology (TIST) at Arakkunam near here has been selected for competing in the URC to design and build rovers that will one day work along side human explorers in the field.

Apart from the URC 2014, the team would also compete with students from across the world in the prestigious international aeronautical contest Can Sat in the US, a statement released here said.

The purpose of the Can Sat is to mimic the functions of an actual satellite, and thus it is an intertwining of various fields of engineering.

While the Can Sat competition will be held in Texas in June, the URC will be held at the Mars Desert Research Station (MDRS) in the remote barren desert of southern Utah in May this year. The URC is the world''s premier robotics competition for college students.

TIST is among 31 university teams in the URC representingsix countries: the US, India, Egypt, Poland, Canada and Bangladesh; and the team will compete with students from prestigious institutions including Yale University, Cornell University and the Warsaw University of Technology.

It is for the second consecutive year that a team from TIST has been selected for the CanSat, which is being organised by the American Astronautical Society and American Institute of Aeronautics & Astronautics in association with NASA, Naval Research Laboratory (USA), Ball Aerospace and Technologies Corp and PRAXIS Inc.

The competitions are the most prestigious platforms for students of Science from universities and colleges across the world to showcase space-related systems they have conceptualised and built.

The TIST team is the first ever from Kerala to be selected for both the competitions.