Missouri S&T
Mars Rover Design Team

Today. Tomorrow. Forever.

What do we do?

We design and build the next generation of Mars rovers that will one day work alongside human explorers in the field.

The Missouri S&T Mars Rover Design Team (MRDT) was established in 2012 to compete in the University Rover Challenge (URC) hosted by The Mars Society. URC expects rovers to perform a number of tasks in the southern Utah desert in conditions analogous to those that would be expected in and around colonies on Mars. In two short years we have become the leading Mars rover design team in the U.S., and second in the world. This feat would not be possible without Missouri S&T, the generosity of our sponsors, and the dedication of our members.

In the time between competitions, MRDT commits to a year-long design, fabrication, and integration process. MRDT operates completely on donations from sponsors and our university in order to see our rovers realized. Our current rover, Horizon (shown below), competed in URC 2015 and the European Rover Challenge 2015. It features components designed entirely by members of our team, such as:

  • A water-jetted aluminum chassis
  • 3D-printed differential gears for the robotic arm
  • 80 lithium-polymer battery cells
  • Custom Printed Circuit Boards (PCBs) for communication, battery management, and power distribution

How do we operate?

At the top of the pyramid sit our team-elected executive officers who appoint leads for each of MRDT's sub-teams. This hierarchical structure is similar to real-world business, but we are not a business. Every member dedicates their time solely for the invaluable experience provided by building a Mars rover.

Executive Board

Chris Lenahan
Chief Executive Officer

Email: Chris.Lenahan@mst.edu

James Zandstra
Chief Technology Officer

Email: James.Zandstra@mst.edu

Alyssa McCarthy
Chief Financial Officer

Email: Alyssa.McCarthy@mst.edu

Brianna Zandstra
Chief Administrative Officer

Email: Brianna.Zandstra@mst.edu


PR & Outreach


Ground Support Systems


Power Systems




Manufacturing Logistics

Development Team

Interested in supporting the team?

Without our many diverse sponsors, we would be stuck on the launch pad.

Donations to the team are monetary or in-kind. In the past, donations-in-kind have come in the form of tools, materials, and consultancy. Monetary donations are used by the team to acquire needed tools and materials for prototyping and fabrication. They also cover cover administrative costs for public relations and travel. If you are interested in donating, please see our donation instructions.

Here are some of our sponsors:

Innovation Team

Level: Interstellar Aviator

Henry A. Jubel Foundation

Level: Interstellar Aviator

Sierra Circuits

Level: Martian Pioneer

Academy of Engineering Management

Level: Martian Pioneer


Level: Martian Pioneer

Helene Hardy Pierce

Level: Martian Pioneer

O'Fallon Casting

Level: Martian Pioneer

Academy of Civil Engineers

Level: Space Walker

Asian Circuits Inc.

Level: Suborbital Flyer

Bittele Electronics Inc.

Level: Suborbital Flyer

Looking to get in touch?

The best way to do so is to contact an Executive Board member or send an email to marsrover@mst.edu

Copyright © Missouri S&T Mars Rover Design Team 2016