At the invitation Professor Aida Nava Wofford of the Autonomous University of Mexico (UNAM), NSS members David Cheuvront, Rodrigo Romo, and NSS Executive Vice President Alfred Anzaldua gave presentations and answered questions during a lunar robotics workshop in Monterrey, Mexico on June 19 and 20. Rodrigo Romo, a recent NSS member, represented the Pacific International Space Center for Exploration Systems (PISCES), a State Agency from Hawaii dedicated to promoting the Aerospace Industry in the state through planetary research, outreach, and workforce development.
The workshop was hosted by the Autonomous University of Nuevo Leon (UANL) and was attended either remotely or in person by 311 first-year university students from 32 institutions in 12 Mexican states and one federal entity.
Besides faculty from UNAM, professors from other universities and technical institutes also gave presentations, including the Autonomous University of Baja California (UABC), the Popular Autonomous University of the State of Puebla (UPAEP), the National Institute of Astrophysics, Optics, and Electronics (INAOE), and the Technological Institute of Ensenada.
Enthusiasm ran high during the workshop. It was clear from the eager questioning and the excited chatter with photo-taking on the margins that the 100 or so students who were lucky enough to participate in person had fun while learning about the Moon and lunar robotic excursions. The Monterrey workshop bodes well for the rest of the lunar robotic competition, which will feature a design and component competition in October 2019 and a robotic/telerobotic rover competition in March 2020, with plans for the three top winning teams to present and operate their rovers during ISDC 2020 in Dallas.