NASA looking for fastest moon wheels

January 15, 2008

The U.S. space agency has set April 4-5 as the dates for its 15th annual Great Moonbuggy Race for high school and college teams.

More than 40 student teams from 18 states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, Canada and India have already registered. The student competitors design, build and race their lightweight, two-person lunar vehicles around a track at the U.S. Space & Rocket Center in Huntsville, Ala.

The buggies are modeled after the historic rovers that American astronauts first drove on the lunar surface in 1971. The teams must negotiate a simulated moon surface along a half-mile, obstacle-strewn course, racing their human-powered vehicles in time trials, rather than side by side.

The three fastest-finishing moonbuggies in both the high school and college categories win prizes. Students can win additional awards for the most unique moonbuggy design, best overall design, most improved team, best rookie team and most spirited team.

The deadline for registration is Feb. 1. Information concerning the competition is available at
moonbuggy.msfc.nasa.gov>

Copyright 2008 by United Press International

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