NASA News: NASA to Hold Industry Day to Discuss Advanced Booster

HUNTSVILLE, Ala. -- NASA will host an industry day at the Marshall
Space Flight Center in Huntsville, Ala. to share information on an
upcoming NASA Research Announcement for the Space Launch System's
(SLS) advanced booster. Marshall is leading the design and
development of the SLS on behalf of the agency. The new heavy-lift
launch vehicle will expand human presence beyond low-Earth orbit and
enable new missions of exploration across the solar system.

The 130-metric ton, evolved SLS vehicle will require an advanced
booster with a significant increase in thrust over existing U.S.
liquid or solid boosters. Its first full-scale test flight is set for 2017.

The industry day will be held Dec. 15, at 9 a.m. CST in the Morris
Auditorium in Marshall's building 4200. Media representatives are
invited to cover the event and interview NASA management beginning at
9:45 a.m. CST. Speakers will include Dan Dumbacher, NASA's
Exploration Systems Development deputy associate administrator at
agency headquarters in Washington, and Todd May, SLS program manager
at Marshall.

Journalists interested in attending should contact Jennifer Stanfield
in Marshall's Public and Employee Communications Office at
256-544-0034 no later than 4 p.m. CST, Wednesday, Dec. 14. To ensure
adequate security processing time on the day of the event, media
should report to the Redstone Arsenal Joint Visitor Control Center at
Gate 9 by 8 a.m., with two photo IDs, vehicle registration and proof
of car insurance. Visitor parking is available in front of Building
4200 on the south side.

For information about NASA's Space Launch System development effort, visit:



NASA Opens Registration for Annual Great Moonbuggy Race

HUNTSVILLE, Ala. -- NASA is challenging student inventors to gear up
for the agency's 19th annual Great Moonbuggy Race. Registration is
open for the engineering design and racing contest set to culminate
in a two-day event in Huntsville, Ala., on April 13-14, 2012.

Participating high schools, colleges and universities may register up
to two teams and two vehicles. Registration for U.S. teams closes
Feb. 10. International registration closes Jan. 9. For complete rules
and to register, visit:


The race is organized annually by NASA's Marshall Space Flight Center
and held at the U.S. Space & Rocket Center, both in Huntsville. Since
1994, NASA has challenged student teams to build and race
human-powered rovers of their own design. These fast, lightweight
moonbuggies address many of the same engineering challenges overcome
by Apollo-era lunar rover developers at Marshall in the late 1960s.

Apollo 15 astronauts David Scott and James Irwin drove the first rover
on the moon's surface on July 31, 1971. Two more rovers followed
during the Apollo 16 and 17 missions in 1972, expanding astronauts'
reach surface and permitting greater focus on scientific exploration.

As they prepare for the race, student teams carry on that tradition of
engineering ingenuity, competing to post the fastest vehicle assembly
and race times in their divisions, while incurring the fewest penalties.

The rocket center's challenging, looping, curving half-mile course of
gravel embankments, sand pits and obstacles mimics lunar craters and
ancient, fossilized lava flows. The course gives racers a realistic
moon-traversing experience -- minus the airlessness and weightlessness.

Prizes are awarded to the three teams in each division with the
fastest final times. NASA and industry sponsors present additional
awards for engineering ingenuity, team spirit and overcoming unique
challenges -- such as the race weekend's most memorable crash.

Teams from Puerto Rico won the top trophies in 2011. Teodoro Aguilar
Mora Vocational High School of Yabucoa won first place in the high
school division with a best time of 3 minutes, 18 seconds -- just one
second over the course record.

The University of Puerto Rico in Humacao, the only school to enter a
moonbuggy every year since the race's start in 1994, posted a best
time of 3 minutes, 41 seconds to win the college division for the
second straight year.

Participation in the race increased from just eight college teams in
1994 -- the high school division was added two years later -- to more
than 70 high school and college national and international teams in 2011.

Nearly 20,000 people watched live and archived coverage of the 2011
race on UStream, an interactive, real-time webcasting platform. For
archived footage of the competition, visit:


For images and additional information about past races, visit:


For information about NASA's education programs, visit:



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