Huntsville AL (SPX) Feb 22, 2011
Forty years after the first lunar rover rolled across the moon's surface, 84 teams of enterprising future engineers will demonstrate the same ingenuity and can-do spirit at the 18th annual NASA Great Moonbuggy Race, set for April 1-2 in Huntsville, Ala.
The event challenges high school and college students to design, build and race lightweight, human-powered rovers - "moonbuggies" - which address many of the same engineering challenges dealt with by Apollo-era lunar rover developers in the late 1960s.
Teams include U.S. high school, college and university students from 22 states and Puerto Rico; and international challengers from six countries, including returning teams from Canada, India and Germany and - for the first time - racers from Ethiopia, Pakistan and Russia.
The race is organized each year by NASA's Marshall Space Flight Center and hosted at the U.S. Space and Rocket Center, both in Huntsville. It commemorates the NASA Lunar Roving Vehicles - engineering marvels designed and tested at Marshall from 1969-1971.
The first rover made its inaugural excursion on the moon's surface July 31, 1971, driven by Apollo 15 astronauts David Scott and James Irwin. Two more rovers followed in 1972, enabling still greater scientific exploration during the Apollo 16 and Apollo 17 missions.
Four decades later, student teams competing in the NASA Great Moonbuggy Race strive to uphold that engineering tradition. Their challenge is to deliver a two-driver buggy - usually in a three- or four-wheeled configuration - capable of posting the fastest vehicle assembly and race times, while incurring the fewest penalties on a harrowing course that simulates the harsh, rocky lunar surface.
High school students square off in one division; college and university teams compete in another. Prizes are awarded to the three teams in each division that finish fastest, with the least number of penalties. NASA and industry sponsors also present a variety of additional awards, including honors for Rookie of the Year and the Featherweight award for the lightest, fastest buggy.
Participation in the race has increased annually from just eight college teams in 1994 - the high school division was added two years later - to more than 70 high school and college teams in 2010.
"Hailing from four continents, the aerospace talent of tomorrow comes together for this hands-on engineering competition," said Dr. Frank Six, the university affairs officer at the Marshall Center and one of the founders of the NASA Great Moonbuggy Race. "More importantly, they'll come to meet one another, to turn school projects and shared dreams of spaceflight into lasting friendships and future partnerships.
"We are proud to continue NASA's long tradition of inspiring and engaging young people around the world to dream big, to innovate and to work together to seek a better, brighter future for us all," he added.
This year's event could inspire more young people than ever before. NASA will broadcast live race coverage via NASA TV and the online Webcasting service UStream. In 2010, more than 32,000 people around the world watched live coverage, including commentary from race organizers and chats with student racers. To watch video of the 2010 competition, visit:
Share This Article With Planet Earth
NASA Great Moonbuggy Race
Mars News and Information at MarsDaily.com
Lunar Dreams and more
Google Lunar X Prize Roster Reaches 29 Teams
Playa Vista, CA (SPX) Feb 22, 2011
Today, the X PRIZE Foundation announced the official roster of 29 registered teams competing for the $30 million Google Lunar X PRIZE, an unprecedented competition to send a robot to the Moon that travels at least 500 meters and transmits video, images, and data back to the Earth. This group of teams signifies this new era of exploration's diverse and participatory nature as it includes a ... read more
Advanced NASA Instrument Gets Close-up On Mars Rocks|
Good Health Report After Hiatus In Communications
Experiment volunteers take 2nd 'walk on Mars'
Walking On Mars
Cassini To Sample Magnetic Environment Around Titan
Surprise Hidden In Titan's Smog: Cirrus-Like Clouds
Cassini Sends Back Postcards Of Saturn Moons
A Fizzy Ocean On Enceladus
Can WISE Find The Hypothetical Tyche In Distant Oort Cloud
Theory: Solar system has another planet
Launch Plus Five Years: A Ways Traveled, A Ways To Go
Mission To Pluto And Beyond Marks 10 Years Since Project Inception
Venus probe may get 2nd chance soon
Japan probe shoots past Venus, may meet again in six years
Reflections - Personal and Planetary
Venus Holds Warning For Earth
Glory And Taurus Ready For Liftoff
GIS Development Announces Latin American Geospatial Forum
Europe to forge ahead on climate satellite
2012 Science Budget Endorsed By Earth And Space Scientists
University of Ulster Launches Rocket Project with Japan Space Agency
ATK And Astrium Unveil Liberty Rocket For NASA CCDev-2 Competition
Renewed Call For Competitive US Spaceflight Marketplace
Rocket Team Hot Fire AJ26 Flight Engine For Taurus II
Shuttle Discovery in 'good shape' for final flight
NASA Sets Launch Date For Space Shuttle Discovery Mission
NASA set for Feb 24 Discovery shuttle launch
Bolden to announce fate of shuttles
ESA Astronaut Luca Parmitano Assigned To 2013 Space Station Mission
ISS Partners Mull Unique Photo-Op
Cosmonauts Conclude Russia 28th Spacewalk from Station
Ariane 5 Launches Second ATV Space Truck
|The content herein, unless otherwise known to be public domain, are Copyright 1995-2010 - SpaceDaily. AFP and UPI Wire Stories are copyright Agence France-Presse and United Press International. ESA Portal Reports are copyright European Space Agency. All NASA sourced material is public domain. Additional copyrights may apply in whole or part to other bona fide parties. Advertising does not imply endorsement,agreement or approval of any opinions, statements or information provided by SpaceDaily on any Web page published or hosted by SpaceDaily. Privacy Statement|