NASA's annual rover challenge is back for industrious student teams

NASA has announced the details for its next annual Human Exploration Rover Challenge. The competition's registration is now open to student teams located in the US, giving budding engineers and designers the chance to build their own lightweight rover and demonstration its suitability for exploring other worlds. Some of the teams may win awards for their work.

NASA's Human Exploration Rover Challenge invites students to come up with new tech that may help with future manned missions to other planets. The next competition will be held in April 2022, providing teams with the opportunity to demonstrate their rovers by navigating them through courses and overcoming various obstacles.

The courses will be designed to simulator the terrain found on Mars and the Moon; the tasks, meanwhile, will revolve around "mission-focused science." The requirements for the rovers are fairly simple: they need to be lightweight, capable of handling the simulated terrain, and human-powered.

Not only will participating in the competition look good on the students' future resumes, but it also gives them the chance to potentially impact future actual space missions. The competition is open to students in high school, college, and university; around 100 teams from around the world participate in the event every year.

NASA says that unlike in past years, this upcoming competition will limit student teams to only one rover per school. This will, the space agency notes, help increase wider participation among schools. The participants will be given eight minutes each to complete the half-mile course, including its various tasks.

Teams interested in participating next year should head over to the rover challenge page on NASA's website.