2003-2004 Challenge Missions

The robotic missions are completed on two 4x8 foot tables that are connected to each other. Two teams compete at these tables at the same time. This year's challenge was Mission Mars. Each team had two and a half minutes to earn as many points as possible, with a perfect score being 400 points. This year had nine missions and they were done on a mat that was actually a photo of Mars!

Mission Table


Click on a letter to see mission description!

A) Exit the Tetrahedron Base

This mission required you to exit a Tetrahedron Base similar to the one used in actual Mars missions. For this mission, the robot had to lower the ramp and completely leave the base and ramp. If a team successfully completes this mission they will receive 39 points.

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B) Launch the Sample Canister

This mission required teams to launch a red ball that represented a sample canister. The sample canister must be launched from the Mars Ascent Vehicle (MAV launcher), The red ball starts in base and if it is successfully launched from the MAV launcher a team will receive 39 points. If the MAV launcher is launched without the ball, a team would receive 27 points.

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C) Clear the Dust off the Solar Panel

Teams had to clear the solar panel. On the competition table there was a model solar panel with eight Lego bricks representing specks of dust. These dust particles needed to be cleaned off of the solar panel. If the dust was partially cleared off the solar panel, a team received 31 points. If all the dust particles are cleared off the panel, 43 points were awarded.

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D) Connect the Habitation Modules

This mission was one of the harder missions. The habitation modules start in base and need to be connected to another module out on the mat surface. Creating a v-shaped (90) module connection gave 49 points, connecting one module connection gave 27 points, and forming a straight two module connection gave 31 points.

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E) Connect the Alliance Habitation Module

This mission was designed to promote cooperation between competing teams. On the wall formed between the two tables there is an Alliance Habitation Module which is split into two halves. When connected, the Alliance Habitation Module gave both of the competing teams 43 points each.

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F) Free the Rover

This mission simulates how to retrieve a rover in the event it breaks down (a lot like the Spirit rover did). On the table a model rover is stuck on a sand dune. If the rover is freed so that it remains on its wheels but no longer touches the sand dune a team earns 31 points. 43 points can be earned if the rover is returned to base, on or off its wheels.

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G) Move Ice Core Samples to Base

In this mission there are three ice core samples that can be retrieved. If all three ice cores are brought to base then a team earns 49 points, if a team recovers only two of the ice cores than 31 points are earned, and if a team recovers a single ice core than the team is awarded 27 points.

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H) Bonus Points: Move all Boulders within the Launch Circle

The boulders are bonus objects that are worth 8 points each as long as they remain anywhere on the field, and boulders that end up in the launch circle around the MAV are worth 14 points each. Each time a team's robot has to be transported to base by hand for a restart, a boulders will be taken off the field one at a time (point loss) , in order of increasing distance from base.

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I) All Terrain Vehicle Test

A team's robot must prove its ability to move across rugged terrain by moving into the Crater (where the Ice Cores are sampled). At the end of the match, the robot must end up completely in or on the Crater, so that nothing is touching the field outside the Crater. Doing this is worth 39 points.

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