NASA prepares for Moonbuggy Race

March 14, 2008

The U.S. space agency is transforming part of the U.S. Space & Rocket Center into a lunar landscape for the 15th annual Great Moonbuggy Race.

By the end of the month about a half-mile of cement footpaths will be ready at the Huntsville, Ala., facility to test the engineering savvy and physical endurance of about 400 high school and college students in the April 4-5 event organized by National Aeronautics and Space Administration.

Students from 20 states, Puerto Rico, Canada, India and Germany, will race lightweight moonbuggies they designed, based on the original lunar rovers used during the 1971 Apollo 15 moon mission. The vehicles will encounter 17 course obstacles that will be built to resemble moon-like ridges, craters, sandy basins and lava-etched "rilles."

Each rover is piloted by two students: one male, one female. The drivers must conquer each obstacle without exceeding the race's 15-minute time limit -- a new rule this year.

"That camaraderie is exciting to see," said Tammy Rowan, manager of NASA's Marshall Space Flight Center's Academic Affairs Office. "The race doesn't just pit schools against one another. It's a shared experience for students who love math, science and engineering."

Copyright 2008 by United Press International

Explore further: The ultimate buddy system at the West Antarctic Divide Sheet

Related Stories

Dutch team reveals 'energy-positive' family car

July 3, 2015

The Solar Team Eindhoven (STE) student team from Eindhoven University of Technology (TU/e, The Netherlands) today presents its new solar-powered car. Stella Lux is an intelligent, solar-powered family car that generates more ...

Schools failing to address biased student discipline

June 2, 2015

School districts are failing to address the discipline gap between students of color and white students—in some cases even blocking researchers from gathering data on the troubling trend, a Michigan State University scholar ...

Corruption tarnishes Russia's new showpiece cosmodrome

May 31, 2015

Designed to showcase a revamped space industry and divert attention from recent failures, Russia's multi-billion-dollar project to build its own space launch pad to take over from Soviet-era Baikonur has been mired in corruption ...

How long will our spacecraft survive?

May 25, 2015

There are many hazards out there, eager to disrupt and dismantle the mighty machines we send out into space. How long can they survive to perform their important missions?

Recommended for you

Image: Hubble sees a youthful cluster

August 31, 2015

Shown here in a new image taken with the Advanced Camera for Surveys (ACS) on board the NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope is the globular cluster NGC 1783. This is one of the biggest globular clusters in the Large Magellanic ...

0 comments

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.