UAH places third in collegiate NASA Human Exploration Rover Challenge

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HUNTSVILLE, Ala. – The University of Alabama in Huntsville’s Team Falcon placed third in the collegiate division at NASA’s Human Exploration Rover Challenge (HERC).

Team Falcon was one of two rover teams from UAH competing. According to UAH, Team Falcon relied on light weight and simplicity when it redesigned a rover from a previous class for the pandemic altered competition.

Team Falcon says the rover weighed in under 150 pounds, extremely light compared to other rovers in the UAH fleet.

The teacher for both teams, David Fikes, was very pleased.

“The students were willing to put in the time that it took to do the extra things that are required to successfully build a rover,” Fikes says. “They met a lot on weekends to get the work done. The pandemic didn’t seem to slow them down that much. Some put in many, many extra hours to complete their project.”

Susan Duron, in front, and Robert Lewallyn test the Falcon rover on the moon buggy course at UAH. (David Fikes, UAH)

The annual NASA HERC has been around for over 25 years and has tasked high school and college teams from around the world to design, build and test a human-powered rover capable of traversing simulated terrain from the moon, Mars and other rocky planets.

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