Students Navigating Course in NASA's Great Moonbuggy Race
Every spring high school and college students from across the country gather at the U.S. Space & Rocket Center in Huntsville, Alabama, to compete in this annual competition.
The competition is inspired by the actual lunar roving vehicle project, which was successfully accomplished by the NASA Marshall Space Flight Center in Huntsville, Alabama, during the 1960s and 1970s. The race challenges students 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.
High school and college teams participate in separate races around a uniquely configured track on the grounds of the U.S. Space & Rocket Center. Powered by two team members, a male and a female, each buggy negotiates a series of obstacles patterned after "lunar surface type conditions" to turn in the day's best time.
Prizes are awarded to the top three winning teams in both the High School Division and College Division. Awards are for the six registered team members and their faculty/instructor advisor. A prize is also awarded to the team whose Moonbuggy design represents the best technical approach toward solving the engineering problem of navigating the lunar surface. The award is based, not on Moonbuggy race performance, but upon the technical approach taken by teams in their design.
Register for the competition by visiting the official Great Moonbuggy Race Web site. Information includes the rules, a map of the course, registration guidelines, past winners, travel and housing, a list of the competitors, contacts, and details about the NASA lunar rovers.
Great Moonbuggy Race
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