By Steve Rusakiewicz, News Writer
Last Friday, the University of Missouri Mars Rover Design Team revealed their latest offering into the Mars Society’s annual University Rover Challenge (URC). Their newest rover, Zenith, appears at face-value to be the product of four years’ worth of trial, error and analysis taken seriously by a dedicated group of students. Looking upon the 2016 rover as it rests between the team’s previous inventions, one can easily see how certain design elements recurred extensively, while others only made brief appearances. Among the elements that appear to have proven out very useful are a six-way drive system and a paddle-wheel design instead of treaded tires, allowing Zenith to propel itself through fine sand with the ease (ideally) of a paddle-boat on the Mississippi River.