Teams will be challenged to

Design, build and test a rover to retrieve cached sample canisters on a martian surface

Pass through an engineering review process with space sector engineers

Win against other teams from across the UK

We look for people with hands on project experience when recruiting

Andrew Bacon, Thales Alenia Space UK

2018 - 2019

Participants will

Gain experience working within a team on a technical project

Practice skills learned in their studies

Meet experts and recruiters from across the space sector

This competition provides the right skills and experiences they [students] need to get jobs in the industry

Dr Chris Mutlow, Director of RAL Space

About »

The Olympus Rover Trials challenge student teams to design, construct and operate a rover for an analogue sample return mission to Mars. Students create a rover concept, trade off performance parameters and pass through a rigorous review process with panels of engineers from the space sector. The competition aims to:

  • Challenge students to perform a complex, systems engineering task of the development of a vehicle to a set of real space mission requirements;
  • Enable students to apply taught technical skills and learn new ones relevant to a job in the space industry in an applicable project environment;
  • Provide students with an opportunity to develop and practice other important and transferable skills, such as teamwork, leadership and project management;
  • Foster interest in the activities of the space sector, especially in space engineering and robotics.

Key Dates »

Competition Launch1 October 2018
Entry Deadline31 October 2018
PDR Deadline16 December 2018
PDR Feedback27th January 2019
CDR Deadline17 March 2019
CDR reviewer meetingby 30 April 2019
Competition grant application14 May 2019
Test Readiness Review7/14 July 2019
Competition Event21/28 July 2019

Rules and Resources »

Rules and requirements document, CAD files, drawings, template documents.

Contact Us »

Have a question about the competition? Want to enter? Want to sponsor?


Update #1 [11 November]

The competition has officially begun!

10 teams applied to enter the competition. They are now busy reading the requirements and rules, creating their concepts and performing intiial trade-off studies before the preliminary design review at the end of the year.

The teams are:

  • University of Bath
  • Cranfield University [2 teams]
  • Imperial College London
  • King's College London
  • University of Manchester
  • University of Oxford
  • University of Southampton
  • University of West of England
  • RAL Space graduates