The MRDT Mission Statement

We the members and associates of the Missouri University of Science and Technology’s Mars Rover Design Team establish this organization for the purpose of providing students with pertinent experience that will aid them in becoming tomorrow’s innovators and instigators. The purpose of the team is to pursue intercollegiate competitions that allow us to demonstrate our mastery of engineering processes and implementation. The team hopes to inspire and empower students to enter fields of study in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics, while creating a positive and educational environment for this development. The team hopes to foster collaboration and communication across disciplines, while building lifelong skills such as organization, commitment, and leadership. Most importantly, the Mars Rover Design team wishes to support and further technologies with applications in the field of space exploration, so that a unified humanity may step beyond its cradle, and embrace its birthright of the stars.


"The University Rover Challenge (URC) is the world's premier robotics competition for college students. Held annually in the desert of southern Utah in the United States, URC challenges student teams to design and build the next generation of Mars rovers that will one day work alongside astronauts exploring the Red Planet."

All rovers in the competition are judged in the four competition missions:

Science Mission
Extreme Retrieval and Delivery Mission
Equipment Servicing Mission
Autonomous Traversal Mission

For more information on the competition and its tasks, visit the URC website.

Over the last eight years, Mars Rover Design Team has become one of the fastest growing organizations on the Missouri S&T campus, reimagined the rover multiple times, and overcome a host of challenges. Through the pursuit of a common mission, an emphasis on continuous member development, and a startup-like culture, the team has steadily improved over past years and reached new milestones. In its fifth year, MRDT became the World Champion of the 2017 University Rover Challenge. (Read about it here). We look forward to the next competition and, until then, we won't stop showing the world how we #RoveSoHard!


Milestones are displayed in chronological order (from the team's founding to the current year) and grouped by the name of the rover that was built during the year the milestones were reached.


  • Spring 2012: MRDT becomes an official design team
  • Spring 2013: The team hosts first ever Rover Reveal
  • May 2013: MRDT competes in the University Rover Challenge for the first time and takes 10th place


  • Fall 2013: Motivated from their first competition, MRDT takes on redesigning their rover completely
  • November 2013: The first ever Spaceweek is hosted
  • May 2014: The team competes in URC and leaves with the title of 2nd in the world


  • March 2014: MRDT becomes the first organization to crowdfund on campus and raises over $19,000
  • May 2015: The team competes in the University Rover Challenge for the 3rd consecutive year
  • September 2015: MRDT becomes the first ever American team to compete in the European Rover Challenge


  • November 2015: MRDT becomes one of the most interdisciplinary S&T design teams with 16 different majors represented
  • May 2016: MRDT takes first in their division at URC and wins the John Berenka Science Award!


  • October 2016: MRDT is invited to present at the Boeing 'What's Next?' Conference, an event dedicated to highlighting the importance of organizations in future fields of business, health, science, and technology
  • March 2017: MRDT is accepted to compete as one of the 35 teams in the largest ever URC competition
  • June 2017: The Mars Rover Design Team is named World Champions of the 2017 University Rover Challenge!
  • July 2017: MRDT competes in the first-ever Canadian International Rover Challenge (CIRC)


  • August 2017: MRDT presents at the 20th Annual International Mars Society Conference
  • March 2018: MRDT Submits their competition application package, including what is ultimately the highest scoring SAR video at competition
  • June 2018: The Mars Rover Design Team wins second place at the 2018 University Rover Challenge!


  • June 2019: The Mars Rover Design Team wins fifth place at the 2019 University Rover Challenge!
  • Choose Design Team
    • Student Design Teams
    • Missouri S&T Racing
    • Miner Aviation
    • Baja SAE
    • Missouri S&T Concrete Canoe
    • Engineers Without Borders
    • Formula SAE Electric
    • Human Powered Vehicle Team
    • Missouri S&T iGEM
    • Missouri S&T Underwater Robotics
    • Missouri S&T Solar Car Team
    • Missouri S&T Solar House Design Team
    • Steel Bridge Design Team
    • Mars Rover Design Team
    • Multirotor Robot Design Team
    • Missouri S&T Chem E Car
    • Missouri S&T Rocket Design Team
    • Miner Motorcycle Design Team
    • Battlebots
    • Nuclear Science Design Team