Great Moonbuggy Race

Great Moonbuggy Race

April
The Great Moonbuggy Race is held every April in Huntsville, Ala., by the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA). The race challenges university and high school students, in teams of six, to design, assemble, and test-drive a human-powered vehicle suitable for driving on the moon. Teams must carry the unassembled vehicle components to the race starting-point in a container similar in size to those used for the original Lunar Roving Vehicles. The teams must assemble their buggies. Then two team members, a male and a female, drive them over a half-mile-long course that simulates lunar terrain, complete with "craters," "rocks," "lava" ridges, and more. Teams are allowed two runs of the course. Their lowest time is added to the vehicle-assembly time for their final score. Prizes are awarded to the three fastest teams in both the university and high-school categories: cash and a trophy to the first-place winners, and plaques to the others. There are special prizes for most unique and most improved vehicle, a rookie award, and a system safety award. Typically about 50 schools take part in all, from about 15 states, and from as far away as Puerto Rico and Germany.
The Great Moonbuggy Race got its start in 1994 to commemorate the 25th anniversary of the Apollo 11 lunar landing. The NASA designers of the Lunar Roving Vehicle used by Apollo astronauts were the inspiration for the race. Eight college teams competed the first year, and the race was expanded to include high school teams in 1996.
CONTACTS:
National Aeronautics and Space Administration, Public Communications and Inquiries Management Office
NASA Headquarters, Ste. 5K39
Washington, D.C. 20546-0001
202-358-0001; fax: 202-358-3469
www.nasa.gov.home/index.html
References in periodicals archive ?
The NASA Human Exploration Rover Challenge is a more complex follow-on to the successful NASA Great Moonbuggy Race.
The competition - Great Moonbuggy Race competition challenges the students to tackle several engineering problems dealt with by Apollo-era lunar rover developers at the Marshall Center in the late 1960s.