NASA's 9th Annual Robotic Mining Competition concludes with an awards ceremony May 18, 2018, at the Apollo/Saturn V Center at the Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex in Florida. The University of Alabama Team Astrobotics received first place in the Caterpillar Award for Autonomy. At left is retired NASA astronaut Jerry Ross. At right is Eric Reiners, program manager with the Innovation & Technology Development Division of Caterpillar Inc. More than 40 student teams from colleges and universities around the U.S. participated in the competition, May 14-18, by using their mining robots to dig in a supersized sandbox filled with BP-1, or simulated lunar soil, gravel and rocks, and participate in other competition requirements. The Robotic Mining Competition is a NASA Human Exploration and Operations Mission Directorate project designed to encourage students in science, technology, engineering and math, or STEM fields. The project provides a competitive environment to foster innovative ideas and solutions that could be used on NASA's deep space missions.