The Challenge | Make Sense Out of Mars

Develop a sensor to be used by humans on Mars.

Mars: Don't Go It Alone

Linc is Mars explorers' new best friend. Its suite of light and sound-based sensors allows the drone to conduct aerial reconnaissance and help the astronaut navigate in a new and unexplored world.

Boeing REACH


When the first humans land on Mars, they will have a monumental task ahead of them. From mapping this new world around them, to performing tests on the environment, Linc will be there to assist the astronauts and offset some of the workload.


  • Characterize soil and air composition
  • Detailed terrain mapping and topological characterization
  • Detection of minerals and chemical compounds necessary for habitability and vegetation growth


  • LiDAR
  • Ultraviolet and near-infrared spectrometers
  • Visible-light camera
  • Ground penetrating radar
  • Radiospectrometer

Challenges faced:

We had trouble defining the scope of the problem to solve due to the extreme time limit of the hackathon. We wanted to get really technical in the design of the quadcopter, but we made the choice to focus on big picture concepts and making the video. Other challenges included having limited knowledge of animation and video editing.


We utilized a variety of resources including:

  • Pixlr
  • NASA’s remote sensor resources and Mars mission information
  • - Duion Quadcopter Blender base model
  • Video clips from pexel
  • Video clip from NASA
  • Blender - Modeling the Linc quadcopter based on the Duion model
  • Openshot - video creation and editing


SpaceApps is a NASA incubator innovation program.