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Every year since 2007, the Mars So-

ciety holds an intriguing competition at

the Mars Desert Research Station near

the town of Hanksville in the state of

Utah in the USA. The competitors are

rovers, or space research vehicles, de-

signed and built by students from uni-

versities from all over the world. Dur-

ing the competition, numerous tasks

are demanded of the candidate vehicles,

which are designed to work and carry out

research on extraterrestrial surfaces. In

many cases, the innovations and break-

throughs made by these students are a

source of inspiration to real-time space


This year, a Turkish team entered

the URC for the first time. The İstanbul

Technical University Rover Teamwas one

of 36 teams chosen from 82 entrants to

be invited to compete in Utah under des-

ert conditions that simulated the condi-

tions on the surface of Mars. Despite

certain difficulties and setbacks that can

be attributed to a lack of experience, the

İTÜ Rover Team finished thirteenth out

of the 36 competitors, a result that bodes

well for the future.

We are both proud and delighted at the outstanding performance of the Tekfen

Holding-sponsored İTÜ (İstanbul Technical University) Rover Team at the URC

(University Rover Challenge) held at the Mars Desert Research Station in Utah

between 1


and 3


of June.