International Rover Challenge (IRC)

Discover the
Space Engineer in You

International Rover Challenge (IRC) is a space robotics engineering competition. It challenges university students to conceptualize, design, develop and operate an astronaut-assistive next-generation planetary rover and perform specific missions in Mars simulated conditions. The objective of the competition is to provide students with a real-world interdisciplinary space engineering experience, combining practical engineering skills with soft skills, including business planning and project management. The competition cycle of IRC spans more than ten months. The competition is divided into two stages: Qualifiers and Finals. The online qualifiers include the International Rover Design Challenge (IRDC) and the System Design and Development Review (SDDR). After thereover design evaluation and team’s readiness, 25 teams advance to the IRC finals. Date – 17-20 January, 2023; Venue – Bengaluru, India



Months of Work
Top three winning teams
1st Place
Team name
2nd Place
Team name
2rd Place
Team name

IRC Finals

IRC Finals take place on a specially curated Mars site where teams compete in four different missions and multiple assessments over a period of 4 days.

Sample Collection and Analysis Mission: The rover acts as a Mobile Science Laboratory to collect samples and perform analysis to seek signs of life.
Reconnaissance and Delivery Mission: The rover reconnaissance an area to search, locate, pick up, and deliver objects to specific locations.
Instrument Deployment and Maintenance Mission: The rovers traverse a short distance to operate on a mock-up instrument panel to perform a set of precise operations.

Autonomous Mission: The rover is required to traverse between markers across moderately rugged terrain autonomously using arrow signs. Teleoperation is not allowed in this mission.

IRC Rulebook – 2022

Any changes in the dates or mode of the competition due to the evolving pandemic situation shall be communicated to the teams.

Key IRC Dates &


IRC & IRDC Rulebook Release

Sat, August 28, 2021 – 8:00 pm (IST)


Registration Starts

Mon, August 30, 2021 – 12:00 pm (IST)


IRC Registration Ends

Fri, September 30, 2022 – 6:00 pm (IST)


SDDR Submission

Tue, November 15, 2022 – 11:59 pm (IST)


SDDR Result (Tentative)

Thu, November 25, 2021 – 7:00 pm (IST)


IRC Finals Inauguration

Sun, February 27, 2022 – 6:00 pm (IST)


IRC Finals Start

Mon, February 28, 2022 – 7:00 am (IST)

Frequently Asked Questions

Yes, there will be an initial application fee and participation fee.

Application Fee – 13,000 INR or 190 USD. It will be paid by the teams after completing the registration form.
Participation Fee – 7,000 INR or 100 USD. It will be paid by the teams which qualify for the IRC Finals to be held during February 15-18, 2022 at VIT Chennai, India. Application fee is non-refundable. However, if the competition doesn’t take place in the on-site mode then Participation fee will be waived off.

No. There is no limit to the number of teams that can register for IRC 2022. But only top 25 ranked teams in System Design and Development Review (SDDR) will be invited to compete in the on-site event.

The maximum allowable length and width of the rover are 1.5m and 1.2m, respectively.
There is no vertical height limit for IRC 2022. If the rover is oversized during a mission, the
team will be charged a penalty of 20% of the points scored during that mission.


Yes. Teams are allowed to take interventions during the missions but there will be a penalty for each interventions.

The teams shall make One Rover. The Rover however may have swappable modules for carrying out different tasks. The modules shall be swapped by astronauts at the base station.

Got any doubts ?

If you have got any doubts related to the competition schedule or rulebook, directly ask IRC judges.

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