*WINNER* NASA Human Exploration Rover Challenge Senior Design Team
This competition challenges high school and college students to construct a vehicle designed to traverse the terrain of another planet. This challenge focuses on testing the design and fabrication, and evaluating skills of each team present. This gives each team present an eye-opening experience in a real-world critical thinking project. Instead of competitors facing an all-out race across difficult terrain as in the past, the challenge now mimics the opportunities, challenges and decision-making that our future planetary explorers will face in interplanetary travel. There are many rules and design regulations set by NASA, which make the race very challenging and competitive. The goals of this year’s project was to create a brand new design that is much lighter, stronger, and more efficient while improving upon the success of the previous year’s rovers. The team plans to put TTU on the top of the leaderboard for the 2019 challenge. Furthermore, the team is planning to win the innovation, featherweight and design competitions. Therefore, the team designed and started to fabricate a completely new and innovative rover. To achieve the teams’ goals, the chassis was designed entirely of titanium with the suspension composed of aluminum tubing and light weight-more efficient pneumatic shocks. These extreme alloys provide the rover with the entire weight to strength ratio necessary to keep the weight to a minimum while retaining enough strength to withstand the harsh race environment and capability of traversing a challenging exoplanetary-like moon landscape.