2024 edition, press office

European Rover Challenge for the 10th time. New tasks, new venue, same old Earth.

Tuesday, February 13, 2024

ERC Robotic Assistant
ERC Robotic Assistant

Available 24/7, virtual author of numerous publications on roverchallenge.eu.

It is the year 2050, and the successful implementation of the ARTEMIS program has proven that humans can build bases on the Moon.” This is how the description of the newest task of the 10th edition of the prestigious ERC competition begins, which every year brings decision-makers and experts in the space sector and representatives of the best technical universities from around the world. This year, the event will be held on September 6-8 and hosted by the AGH University of Krakow. The European Space Foundation, a member of the IAF, organizes the competition.

The ERC is a prestigious space and robotics event held in Poland that has been held for ten years. It is a combination of Martian robot competitions with the participation of the best academic teams worldwide, an industry conference, and a science and technology demonstration zone. Tasks in the ERC competition replicate the challenges faced by rovers on Mars and the Moon. The teams are closely watched by representatives of the world’s space agencies (such as NASA, ESA, DLR, and POLSA), organizations (like ISU, Eurisy, and Space Communications Alliance), and experts who, at the invitation of the organizers, visit the event and share their knowledge and experience.

The ERC competition is held on a special Martian track. It is a unique installation designed by planetary geologists from the Polish Academy of Sciences, inspired by a selected section of the Red Planet. “On our Marsyard, we map the processes that shape the landscape of Mars: we create a complex geological puzzle consisting of numerous impact craters, dunes, dry river valleys, and various volcanic formations, which few people can solve.” – explains Dr. Anna Losiak, ERC Chief Science Officer / Inst. of Geological Sciences of the Polish Academy of Sciences.

The ERC judging panel consists of space industry experts from organizations such as the Association of Polish Space Sector Professionals, the Space Sector Employers Association, Mars Society Poland, and international commercial entities, among others. “Our main goal is to create interesting and challenging tasks for the teams and ensure that their execution follows standard processes from the R&D industries. We are sure that only with such an approach will ERC participants be ready to take up professional challenges in the space industry right after graduation.” – explains Marcin Wygachiewicz, ERC Head of Jury / PSPA.

The ERC also features an industry conference where leading space sector experts, astronauts, and scientists discuss space and its impact on our past, present, and future. The event’s program includes debates on the future of human settlement on the Moon and Mars, projects and missions on the Silver Globe being developed by NASA and ESA in the coming years, and essential topics related to sustainability and commercialization. This year’s conference will start with Earth’s application of space technologies and satellite data. On the third day, the event will be closed by a unique 10th Anniversary Gala of the European Rover Challenge with special guests worldwide.

Nine editions of the event have been held since 2014, with more than one million people following the event on-site and online. “The event hosted Steve Jurczyk – former Deputy Administrator of NASA; Robert Cabana – Deputy Administrator of NASA; Robert Zubrin – founder of The Mars Society; Harrison Schmitt – NASA astronaut and member of the legendary Apollo 17 mission; Tim Peake – European Space Agency astronaut, as well as Slawosz Uznansky, Polish ESA project astronaut”. –  adds Lukasz Wilczynski, originator of the European Rover Challenge and president of the European Space Foundation.

The project is financed by state budget funds granted by Poland’s Minister of Education and Science under the “Social Responsibility of Science II” program. Detailed information on the European Rover Challenge 2024 is available at https://roverchallenge.eu/.

 

About the European Space Foundation

The main organizer of the ERC is the European Space Foundation – an award-winning organization supporting initiatives that prioritize the future of the new generation based on STEAM sciences and space technologies. In addition to the European Rover Challenge, the Foundation’s team is involved in conducting workshops and educational actions in Polish schools (e.g., Mars Colony Hackathon, “How do we know that the climate is changing?”). In 2023, the Foundation was the only European entity shortlisted for the prestigious Global E-STEM Award from Pratt & Whitney and the North American Association for Environmental Education (NAAEE).

Robotics competition

Every year, dozens of teams enter the European Rover Challenge with innovative rover designs.

STEM Exhibit

Discover the vast and exciting world of science through interactive exhibits, educational workshops and insightful discussions.

Conference & Livestream

During the ERC, leading space sector experts, astronauts and scientists discuss space and its impact on our past, present and future.

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