Student Teams Ready to Battle Lunar Terrain at NASA's 17th Annual Great Moonbuggy Race

WASHINGTON -- More than 100 student teams from around the globe will
drive their specially crafted lunar rovers through a challenging
course of rugged, moon-like terrain at NASA's 17th annual Great
Moonbuggy Race in Huntsville, Ala., April 9-10.

Some 1,088 high school, college and university students from 20 states
and Puerto Rico, Canada, Germany, Bangladesh, Serbia, India and
Romania are expected to participate in the race at the U.S. Space and
Rocket Center.

Students begin to prepare for the event each year during the fall
semester. They must design, build and test a sturdy, collapsible,
lightweight vehicle that addresses engineering problems similar to
those overcome by the original Apollo-era lunar rover development
team at NASA's Marshall Space Flight Center in Huntsville in the late

The buggies are based on the design of those classic rovers, which
American astronauts drove across the moon's surface during the Apollo
15, 16 and 17 missions in the early 1970s. Teams of students build
their vehicles using trail bike tires, aluminum or composite-metal
struts and parts. The best teams drive trains, gears, suspension,
steering and braking systems they find or construct.

Top prizes are awarded to the three teams in both the high school and
college/university divisions that post the fastest race times, which
include assembly and penalty times. A variety of other prizes are
given by race corporate sponsors. These include "rookie of the year"
and the "featherweight" award, presented to the team with the
lightest, fastest buggy.

NASA's Great Moonbuggy Race is one of many educational projects and
initiatives the agency conducts each year to attract and engage
America's next generation of scientists, engineers and explorers.
They will carry on the nation's mission of exploration to unchartered
destinations in our solar system.

"NASA is committed to inspiring young people in science, technology,
engineering and math, and the Great Moonbuggy Race is an excellent
way for us to reach out to young people and get them excited and
involved in technical opportunities available to them," said Mike
Selby, an avionics technical assistant in the Marshall Center's
Engineering Directorate. While completing his engineering degree at
the University of Alabama in Huntsville, Selby was a member of the
school's moonbuggy teams, helping them to a second-place finish in
1995 and to first place in 1996. Since 2001, he has served each year
as a volunteer scorekeeper.

The race is hosted by the U.S. Space and Rocket Center, and is
sponsored by Lockheed Martin Corporation, The Boeing Company,
Northrop Grumman Corporation, and Jacobs Engineering ESTS Group, all
of Huntsville.

For a list of this year's competitors, visit:


For more information about the competition, visit:


For information about other NASA education programs, visit:


Source: NASA

◄ Share this news!

Bookmark and Share


The Manhattan Reporter

Recently Added

Recently Commented