VIDEO: UBC students try to land a ‘probe’ on Saturn’s largest moon

Engineering students at the Vancouver campus compete in a spacecraft landing competition.




It may look a bit like table golf, but for UBC engineering students, it was a space mission to Titan, Saturn’s largest moon.

Twenty teams tried their hand at shooting “probes,” or balls, across a 160-square-foot table at the Vancouver campus on Wednesday.

The goal was to aim for a funnel, while competing for top grades in their mechanical engineering class.

The competition replicated NASA’s Cassini mission from 2005 that successfully landed a probe on Titan’s surface.

Each team brought their own “spacecraft” – created with 3D printers – and were timed and graded on the machine’s ability to shoot three different-sized balls into the funnel (or Titan’s orbit).

Marks were based on a combination of spacecraft design and landing performance.