For release: 04/12/02
Release #: 02-088
Team from Higginsville, Mo. wins high school division at 9th annual 'Great Moonbuggy Race'
A team from Lafayette County High School in Higginsville, Mo., pedaled to victory today in the high school division of NASA's 9th annual "Great Moonbuggy Race" in Huntsville, Ala. The Lafayette County High School team #1 bested 26 teams representing high schools from nine states. Besides the first-place honor, the team earned a weekend trip to Space Camp at the U.S. Space & Rocket Center in Huntsville.
Photo: A "moonbuggy" from Lafayette County High School in Higginsville, Mo., crosses the finish line to win the high school division of the 9th Annual Great Moonbuggy Race. (NASA/ MSFC)
The New Orleans Area Schools team #2 from New Orleans, La. finished second, while team # 2 from Lafayette County High School in Higginsville, Mo., placed third. Those teams received plaques, and all three winning teams received medallions and duffel bags bearing the Great Moonbuggy Race logo.
The award for best moonbuggy design went to the New Orleans Area Schools team #2.
Vehicles powered by two team members, one male and one female, raced one at a time over a half-mile obstacle course of simulated moonscape terrain. Intermittent rain during the day added to the challenges of the course.
The competition is inspired by the actual lunar roving vehicle project, which was successfully accomplished by NASA's Marshall Space Flight Center in Huntsville during the 1960s and 1970s. Students in the race are given the assignment to design and build a human-powered vehicle so they will learn how to deal with real-world engineering problems -- similar to those faced by the actual NASA lunar rover team.
The Marshall Center, U.S. Space & Rocket Center, American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics, Aerospace Development Center of Alabama, Sci-Quest North Alabama Science Center and Huntsville's WAFF-TV sponsor the event.
The college division competition will be held Saturday, with 34 teams from across the United States and Puerto Rico competing.
Other high school teams competing in Friday's event were Huntsville Center for Technology in Huntsville, Ala., Huntsville High School in Huntsville, Ala., Johnson High School in Huntsville, Ala.; New Century Technology High School in Huntsville, Ala.; Autauga County Technology Center in Prattville, Ala.; Collins Hill High School in Suwannee, Ga.; Carbondale Community High School, Carbondale, Ill.; Labette County High School in Altamont, Kan.; Independence High School in Independence, Kan.; Sterlington High School in Monroe, La.; OTC Career Center in Springfield, Mo.; South Central Career Center West Plains, Mo.; W.T. Clarke High School in Westbury, N.Y.; Lansing High School in Lansing, N.Y.; West Ashley High School in Charleston S.C.; Pinewood Preparatory School in Summerville, S.C. and C.E. King High School in Houston, Texas.
Also, the Marshall Venture Crew from Huntsville, Ala., Frontenac High School in Frontenac, Kan. and Northeast High School in Arma, Kan., participated as exhibition teams. Members design and build a moonbuggy for exhibition purposes, but don't race it competitively. In some cases they learn more about the experience before competing in a subsequent year.