Future U.S. Space Programs Depend On New Talent And Inspiration.

American space exploration will return to the heavens in a big way, and soon. That’s the goal of four dedicated design teams on the S&T campus.

S&T’s Mars Rover Design Team (MRDT), a group with just one competition cycle under their belts, organized the first annual campus Space Week exhibits designed to get the next generation of Mercury/Apollo/Space Shuttle engineers excited about space exploration.

MRDTDSC_5581Mirroring international space cooperation students from Miners in Space, the S&T Satellite Team, and the Advanced Aero Vehicle Group combined forces to host community events covering topics from “Be an Engineer for a Day,” “Meet the Planets”, “Aerospace Adventures,” to building paper rockets. An evening speaker series brought in experts in space-related fields, including S&T alum and four-time Shuttle Astronaut Tom Akers, in whose honor the MRDT’s first Mars-style rover is named.

The mid-day displays were a huge hit with kids and adults alike. Student groups from several local schools filled the Havener Center atrium with their planet posters and got to play with and control robots of all sizes.
Tom Akers wrapped up the week with a tour of the Student Design and Experiential Learning Center where he shared the nitty-gritty aspects of life in space as he knew it with many of the MRDT members. Tom was also gracious enough to autograph “Akers,” the team’s inaugural rover.