For release: 01/16/02
Release #: 02-006
Registration deadline approaches for NASA’s 9th Annual Great Moonbuggy Race
For high school and college students eager to try their design, building and athletic skills in the 9th Annual Great Moonbuggy Race the sign-up deadline is near. Teams must be registered for the race by Feb 1. The event, sponsored by NASA’s Marshall Space Flight Center in Huntsville, Ala., is scheduled April 12-13 at the U.S. Space & Rocket Center in Huntsville.
Photo: Pittsburg State University, Kan., wins college division of 2001 Great Moonbuggy Race. (NASA/MSFC)
The competition requires student teams to design a human-powered vehicle and in the process, confront real-world engineering problems. The challenge continues when students, a male and female, race their vehicles over a half-mile course of simulated lunar terrain, encountering man-made craters, rocks, ridges and soft soil.
Inspiration for the race is the challenges faced and overcome by the NASA team that designed the Lunar Rover Vehicle for Apollo astronauts to travel on the Moon.
High school students race Friday, April 12, and college students race Saturday, April 13.
“This year we’re hoping to have the biggest field ever,” said Durlean Bradford, Moonbuggy Race coordinator at the Marshall Center. “We already have 15 high schools and ten colleges registered.”
Teams from 20 states and Puerto Rico participated in 2001 bringing more than 50 teams to the competition.
“There is still time to put a team together, design the vehicle, build it and be ready to compete in April, said Bradford. “But the registration has to be completed and to us by Feb. 1.”
Prizes are awarded not only for the fastest vehicles, but also to the team whose design represents the best technical approach toward solving the engineering problem of navigating the simulated lunar surface.
“This is a fun experience,” Bradford said, “but it’s highly challenging in a variety of areas — including, math, science, engineering, design and teamwork.”
For more information about participating in the Great Moonbuggy Race, contact Bradford at: (256) 544-5920 or e-mail: durlean.Bradford@msfc.nasa.gov.
General information about the even may be found on the Web site:
More About the Marshall Center
The Marshall Space Flight Center is NASA's lead center for development of space transportation and propulsion systems, advanced large optics manufacturing technology, as well as microgravity research — scientific research in the unique low-gravity environment inside the International Space Station and other spacecraft.
In the past, Marshall played key roles in the development and operation of the Saturn V rocket, Skylab, the Lunar Roving Vehicle, Spacelab and the Hubble Space Telescope. Today, the Center’s primary management responsibilities include Space Shuttle propulsion systems; the Chandra X-Ray Observatory; future large-scale space optics systems; the Space Launch Initiative; space science and Earth science; and all scientific work aboard the International Space Station. Marshall is responsible for developing advanced space transportation systems designed to further the exploration of space while slashing the cost of getting there from today’s $10,000 per pound to only hundreds of dollars per pound, and even less. The Center is working to bring a future among the stars closer to reality for the people of Earth.
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