Space Conference at MSOE highlights student prototype that could one day see Mars

NOW: Space Conference at MSOE highlights student prototype that could one day see Mars

MILWAUKEE (CBS 58) -- The Space Conference at Milwaukee's School of Engineering (MSOE) on Friday, Aug. 13 brought NASA employees and students who hope to one day work for NASA. 

Ashley Stroupe is a systems engineer for NASA, and she specializes in Mars Rover Operations.

A rover is a vehicle that drives through extraterrestrial terrain.

Stroupe drives Curiosity, a rover on Mars that takes images and collects different data. 

She spoke to the students about her career driving rovers on Mars. 

"By studying it now, that may help enable our species to become a multi-planet species in the future," said Stroupe. 

She says conferences like this one are important for the progress of science and space exploration.

"Space exploration is such a collaborative community and worldwide community effort. We all need to share our information and what we've learned to have successes like this," said Stroupe. 

Students who are part of MSOE's robotics team showed off their very own rover. 

It's a much smaller, specialized rover that could collect ice for people who are on the moon, and possibly one day, Mars. 

Alexander Reid hopes that one day his team's prototype will be used by NASA.

"They can take our idea and run with it," said Reid. "And I'd be proud to say something I helped develop... someone else took it and put it on the moon."

Reid's team created the prototype for a NASA competition. 

It took them two years to get the robot to this point. 

Marquette students also had a similar, but different, prototype in the competition. They are the only two schools in the state to participate.  


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