Finalists Chosen in Mars Society’s Telerobotic Mars Expedition Design Competition

The Mars Society is pleased to announce that six finalists have been chosen in the Telerobotic Mars Expedition Design Competition (TMEDC), an international contest announced in January which asked the entrants to design the best set of robotic exploration hardware using a 10-ton payload Mars lander.

The finalists include teams from the U.S., Canada, and Europe and are listed below:

MIFECO Proposal – Robert MillsUnited States (Michigan)
Carl GreenbaumUnited States (South Dakota)
Moran_TMEDC_TeamUnited States (Virginia)
Innspace TeamPoland (Lodzkie)
Spaceship EACEurope (Germany + multiple team members)
Northern Shores Innovation Institute (NSII)Canada (Ontario)

The teams will now present in-person at ASU and virtually before the global community at the 25th Annual International Mars Society Convention at Arizona State University, scheduled for October 20-23, 2022, where the winners will be selected.

In January 2022, the Mars Society announced the holding of an international contest for the best design plan of a robotic flotilla using a 10 metric ton Mars lander.

An essential requirement for any human Mars exploration mission is a system capable of landing payloads of 10 metric tons or more on the Martian surface. Such systems could first be demonstrated by being used to deliver expeditions consisting of platoons of robots, including wheeled or treaded ground rovers, helicopters, airplanes, balloons, or other types of flight vehicles, and legged robots, including those in humanoid, cat-like, or insectoid forms. Expeditions of this type could return scientific bonanzas while preparing Mars landing sites for human arrival.

The TMEDC is open to all people from every country. Entrants could work alone or as part of a team. Each contestant submitted a report of no more than 20 pages presenting their plan. A down select was then made to the top six proposals, whose authors have now been invited to present them in person in front of an audience of judges chosen by the Mars Society at the next International Mars Society Convention in October 2022.

There will be a prize of $10,000 for first place, $5,000 for second, $2,500 for third, $1,000 for fourth, and $500 for fifth. In addition, the papers will be published in a new Mars Society book “Telerobotic Mars Expeditions: Exploring the Red Planet with Platoons of Robots.”

In scoring telerobotic expedition designs, points will be allocated on the following basis:

25 points – Engineering design: How credible are the engineering designs of the proposed systems?

20 points – Science return: What will be the scientific return of the expedition?

20 points – Exploration preparation: What will the expedition do to prepare for future human exploration, both at the landing site itself and across Mars in general.

20 points – Cost:  Not counting the systems used to deliver the expedition, how much will the mission cost?

15 points – Schedule:  How soon could the mission be made ready for flight? How credible is the claim that it could be launched by 2033? How credible is the claim that it could be ready in time for an earlier launch date?

Congratulations to all the finalists, and good luck on the final round! 

The exact date and time of the final round TMEDC presentations and winning announcement at the International Mars Society Convention will be posted on our website (www.marssociety.org) in the coming weeks. Also visit our website for more details about the convention, including how to register online as well as volunteer and sponsorship opportunities.