After a full year of hard work, the CSUF Titan Rover club made its first public reveal of Atlas, its official Mars rover to family, friends, students and sponsors Wednesday at Anaheim Bottle Logic Brewing.
“This is the result of many, many, many tens of thousands of hours worth of work between our whole team here,” said Byron Cragg, Titan Rover club science team lead and club director.
The unveiling comes before the University Rover Challenge hosted by the Mars Society. The University Rover Challenge takes place from June 1 to June 3 at the Mars Desert Research Station in Utah.
The goal of the challenge is to create the next generation of Mars rovers that will one day work in the field.
Out of 82 international teams, only 36 were chosen to compete at the Universal Rover Challenge. This is the Titan Rover club’s fourth year submitting an entry to the competition and its second year getting accepted into the competition.
After complications at last year’s event, the club completely rebuilt its rover this year. The club’s goals include a top-10 finish in Utah.
“This year we’ve definitely expanded our team a lot, we’ve expanded our fundraising,” Cragg said. “Our rover this year is much, much better, so we are looking at doing much better.”
The team spends a full academic year, including breaks, to design and build the rover.
“The day that we were heading back from Utah in the car from the last competition, we were already planning next year’s rover,” Cragg said.
The Titan Rover club raised almost $30,000 through various fundraisers and donations including $12,000 from the mechanical department on campus.
The club recently won first place in the school’s Engineering and Computer Science showcase for the second year in a row and was announced as the winners of the Titans’ Choice Award at the CSUF Tuffy Awards. The award is given to an organization that “embodies and exemplifies what it means to be a Titan.”
“There’s so many hours that went into this, and I can’t even express how appreciative I am of this whole entire team,” said Erik Holgersen, project lead and club president.
Awards were handed out to members of the team that put in extra effort to the project during the event.
“This means everything to me,” Holgersen said. “To show this off to our friends and family, it’s all we can hope for all year.”