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European Space Foundation Announces 10th ERC Edition

European Rover Challenge. Credit ERC
European Rover Challenge. Credit The European Space Foundation

Ibadan, 20 February 2024. – The European Space Foundation has announced the 10th edition of its annual European Rover Challenge (ERC) competition. Every year, the Challenge attracts decision-makers, experts in the space sector and representatives of the best technical universities from around the world. This year, the AGH University of Krakow will host the ERC from September 6-8.

The ERC will also feature an industry conference where leading space sector experts, astronauts and scientists discuss space and its impact on our past, present, and future. Tasks in the ERC competition usually replicate the challenges that Mars and the Moon rovers face. Furthermore, to accurately replicate Martian conditions, the competition holds on a special Martian track known as the Marsyard. It is a unique installation by planetary geologists from the Polish Academy of Sciences, who designed it similar to a specific section of the Red Planet.

The teams also undergo supervision from representatives of the world’s space agencies (including NASA, ESA, DLR, and POLSA), other organizations in the space sector (including ISU, Eurisy, and the Space Communications Alliance), and other experts to share their knowledge and experience. This year’s conference will start with an examination of Earth’s application of space technologies and satellite data. On the third and final day, the event will close with a unique 10th Anniversary Gala of the European Rover Challenge, welcoming special guests from around the world.

“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 and Scientific Researcher at the Insitute of Geological Sciences of the Polish Academy of Sciences.

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