4. January 2019

Julian Rothenbuchner

Get to know the members of our team!

As one of the co-creators of the project, Julian is responsible for developing all the mechanical aspects of the Tumbleweed, from coming up with the lightweight composite arcs to designing the mechanism to collapse the entire Rover. Having graduated the Sir-Karl-Popper School in Vienna last year, he is now studying at the Technical University of Vienna.

How did you come up with the design for the Tumbleweed?

It was a mixture of a sudden realization and long, methodical contemplation: Moritz and I had been thinking about possible designs for a simple and cost-effective rover for months, coming up with many crazy concepts. Then, in a rather boring lecture in early 2017, it clicked and we realized we could use the winds on mars to propel a simple, spherical rover.

What time of the day are you the most productive?

At whatever time I’ve just had coffee! I am definitely not a morning person, though…

What quality do you admire most in people?

I really admire passion and curiosity in people and all the wonderful things that come with it: the willingness to try new things, the drive to power through difficult phases while always keeping your goals in mind, and ultimately the ability to achieve the greatest things.

Did you have any obsession in your childhood?

My obsession as a child was always anything technical, as well as science-related. If it moved, I was interested in it. If it flew or hovered or orbited the earth, even better. When I was 7 or 8 years old, my godfather introduced me to model airplanes, which only deepened my interest in (space)flight. He also showed me the power in every one of us to create things, which then led to a good dozen of flying contraptions that were built in my dad’s garage.
At the same time, I became really interested in spaceflight and anything related with the exploration of our cosmos, be it space probes, rovers, rockets or space stations. I still remember my first presentation in front of an audience: it was about Space Probes in front of my class and all the other students (and teachers) from the third grade of primary school.


With the development of the Tumbleweed Rover, I can merge my love for science and space with my passion for creating things, which truly is a dream come true for me.