Mission on Mars

The Aerospace Jam 2022-23 is a competition for high school teams across Wisconsin to use drones on a NASA Mars-inspired simulated mission. The program is co-sponsored by the NASA Wisconsin Space Grant Consortium and the Milwaukee Bucks. Our goal is to recruit students from diverse backgrounds and cultivate a welcoming and inclusive event that will foster meaningful interactions among teammates and teams.

The event is scheduled to take place on March 16, 2023 at the Fiserv Forum.

The Challenges

Student demonstrating with a robot

By November 1, 2022, teams will be provided with a drone and sensor kit to design and build a data-acquiring platform for a “landing” on Mars. Monthly meetings and technical support will be provided throughout the fall and early spring semesters. The day-long competition will take place on March 16, 2023 at the Milwaukee Bucks’ Fiserv Forum. All team members will be provided free tickets to the Bucks game later that same day.

Specific team challenges will include:

  • specific drone maneuverability tasks
  • sensing and locating objects within the flight area
  • measuring objects within the flight area
  • mission planning
  • communicating team progress and goals to public via social media
There will be several awards that teams can compete for:
  • Team Grand Mars – overall winner – best combination of day-of performance, social media score, and mission planning.
  • Team Mars Navigator – day-of winner – best score for day-of performance
  • Team Mars Aware – social media winner – best communication strategy and social media performance
  • Team Mars Luminary – Mission planning – best mission plan

Technical support for the competition will be provided in multiple ways.

First, we’ll have Q&A sessions as part of each monthly program. Second, we will be opening an online tutorials page where teams can view instructional videos. Finally, serious technical issues can be brought up to Mike to handle if there is something that is completely stopping a team’s progress.

Part of the challenge is locating needed resources and help from online communities on the web. There are multiple support sites for help with Arduinos and sensors, e.g. Arduino Forum, which can provide help on thorny hardware and software issues.


Our Partners

Milwaukee Bucks



Lab Midwest




Do you have any questions about the event?
Please contact Mike Mortensen: mmortens@carrollu.edu
Panoramic View of campus