SDELC director, intrepid media stringer and long-haul I-70 trucker Chris Ramsay sends up this dispatch:
The Mars Rover Design Team (MRDT) left Rolla bright and early Monday morning and headed towards Hanksville, UT. A stop in Kansas City to replace a defective camera was followed by lunch in a parking lot. Arriving in Hayes, KS about 7:00 p.m. for the first scheduled stop for the night. The team found a local park, cooked burgers and dogs for dinner, and put the Rover through its paces as a skateboarding facility in the park.
Leaving Hayes early the following day the team stopped and the Rocky Mountain Lake Park in Denver, next to I-70, for a gourmet lunch of chicken wraps cooked the night before at the park in Hayes…… On through the mountains, MRDT made good progress. The trailer blew a tire (thank goodness for two axle trailers!) and the team got to spend some quality time in Gleenwood Springs, CO Goodyear dealership to replace the shredded component. On to Grand Junction where one team member experienced the cleanest gas station bathroom he had ever seen while the rest of the team waited in the vehicles while he responded to his emergency. A bite to eat, and inspirational pep talk from team CEO Michael Brouchard, fuel stop, and back on the road finally crossing the border into Utah. A couple of hours later the caravan pulled into the Hanksville Inn.
MRDT then set up the earth station in the parking lot, unpacked the Rover and immediately started modifying circuit boards, testing, setting up / taking apart, in short just continuing to adjust the Rover for competition criteria – that was just released earlier that day. Apparently, the organizers like to keep the teams guessing.
Visits from other teams (Yale was looking for parts, rather than make the long trek back to Denver the following day…seems like they left this morning), the Polish Team stopped by for a good visit. They won the competition last year, it was a good time to rekindle relationships and admire each other’s efforts over the last year.
“Will try to send some photos but can’t seem to get them to get them on the ipad, seem like. I need a cable I don’t have, argh!”