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Great Moonbuggy Race: NASA Social at NASA's Rocket Center in Alabama!
April 25, 2013
 

Editors Note: We have extended registration to 5 p.m. EDT on April 3, 2013.



Students compete in the 2012 NASA Great Moonbuggy Race NASA, along with the U.S. Space and Rocket Center, will host a three-day event for 50 of its social media followers starting the evening of April 25 and then two full days on April 26-27 during the 20th Annual Great Moonbuggy Race. This is the first NASA Social at NASA's Marshall Space Flight Center in Huntsville, Ala.

In the Great Moonbuggy Race, high school and college students work in teams of six. They design a two-person "moonbuggy" that tries to achieve the fastest vehicle assembly and race times on a grueling course.

As NASA looks to the future with missions to have humans visit an asteroid and eventually Mars, it is crucial to inspire and actively work to cultivate the next generation of innovators and problem solvers. The Great Moonbuggy Race is just one of NASA's programs that seeks to equip students with the skills needed to help NASA with these missions of the future.

NASA Social participants will have the opportunity to:

  • Attend the moonbuggy races and observe teams compete for top prizes
  • Be embedded with individual teams to cover their trials and tribulations on the race course, along with what it took to design and race a custom built lunar rover
  • Experience the future of NASA's human spaceflight missions on a guided tour of the Marshall Space Flight Center. During the tour, participants will:
    • Be immersed in the daily activities aboard the International Space Station
    • Visit the extensive facilities at Marshall that enable engineers and technicians to test hardware on the ground before launching it to space
    • Have an opportunity to speak with Marshall project managers from several programs and projects including the Space Launch System and meet the talented people who work on them
  • Take part in a guided tour of the U.S. Space and Rocket Center, including participation in several hands-on activities usually reserved for those participating in Space Camp
  • Honor the legacy of the original lunar rover, built at Marshall, by attending a special event with the scientists and researchers who were on the team that designed it.
  • Attend the special movie premiere of "Space Warriors at the U.S. Space and Rocket Center on Thursday, April 25

What is a NASA Social?
A NASA Social is an informal meeting of people who use social networking sites such as Twitter, Facebook and Google+. Participants at this event will be provided a unique in-person experience with NASA at the Marshall Space Flight Center and the U.S. Space and Rocket Center, which they are encouraged to share with others through their favorite social network.

Guests will have an opportunity to be intimately involved in the 20th Annual Great Moonbuggy Race including interview opportunities with the teams and personnel involved in the race. Activities will include a guided tour of the extensive engineering and testing facilities at Marshall including the Dynamic Test Stand that was built in 1964 for vibration tests of the Saturn V rocket. Guests will also tour current state-of-the-art engineering development labs where the Marshall team is designing the Space Launch System, the nation's next heavy-lift launch vehicle and the Payload Operations Integration Center, NASA's primary International Space Station science command post that coordinates all on-board science experiments and communications between researchers on the ground and their experiments. Participants will also get to see the Saturn V Dynamic Test Vehicle housed in the Davidson Center for Space Exploration. The Saturn V Dynamic Test Vehicle was the first full-scale Saturn V completed by the Marshall center, and served as the test vehicle for all of the Saturn support facilities at Marshall.

What is the Great Moonbuggy Race?
The Great Moonbuggy Race honors the legacy of NASA's first Lunar Roving Vehicle, built for excursions on the moon's surface in 1971. Working in teams of six, high school and college students design a two-person "moonbuggy" that tries to achieve the fastest vehicle assembly and race times on a grueling course. Meant to challenge the students in the foundations of science, technology, engineering, and mathematics, more than 70 teams from across the globe participate in the Great Moonbuggy Race each year.

How do I register?
Registration opens on this page at noon EDT on March 22 and closes at 5 p.m. EDT March 28 5 p.m. EDT April 3. Fifty participants will be randomly selected from online registrations. Registration is for one person only (you) and is non-transferable.

Additional registrants will be placed on a waiting list.

Do I need to have a social media account to register?
Yes. This event is designed for active social media users who follow the U.S. Space and Rocket Center and NASA on Twitter (@SpaceCampUSA, @NASA, @NASASocial, @NASA_Marshall); Facebook (NASA, NASA Marshall, U.S. Space and Rocket Center); or Google+ (NASA, U.S. Space and Rocket Center). The goal of NASA Social is to allow people who regularly interact with each other via social networks to meet in person and discuss space exploration.

Users on all social networks are encouraged to use the hashtag #NASASocial. Updates and information about the event will be shared on Twitter via @SpaceCampUSA and @NASASocial and via posts to Facebook and Google+.

What are the registration requirements?
Registration indicates your intent to travel to the U.S. Space and Rocket Center in Huntsville, Ala. and attend the three-day event in person (note: Thursday, April 25 activities will not start until approximately 4:30 p.m. that afternoon). You are responsible for your own expenses for travel, accommodation, food and other amenities.

Some events and participants scheduled to appear at the event are subject to change without notice. NASA and the U.S. Space and Rocket Center are not responsible for loss or damage incurred as a result of attending. NASA and the U.S. Space and Rocket Center moreover, are not responsible for loss or damage incurred if the event is cancelled with limited or no notice. Please plan accordingly.

Some of the events with this NASA Social include tours or other activities at Marshall Space Flight Center, which is a government facility. Those who are selected will need to complete an additional registration step to receive clearance to enter the secure areas. To be admitted, you will need to show two government-issued identifications (one with a photo) that match the name provided on the registration. Those without proper identification cannot be admitted. All registrants must be at least 18 years old.

Can I register if I am not a U.S. citizen?
Because portions of this event may take place in restricted areas, registration is limited to U.S. citizens. U.S. Citizenship must be verified by providing a birth certificate, U.S. passport, Birth Abroad Certificate or naturalization documentation. Those who are selected will need to complete an additional registration step to receive clearance to enter the secure areas. To be admitted, you will need to show two government-issued identifications (one with a photo) that match the name provided on the registration. Those without proper identification cannot be admitted. All registrants must be at least 18 years old.

Foreign citizens can still attend the public portions of the Great Moonbuggy Race in Huntsville

Does my registration include a guest?
Because of space limitations, you may not bring a guest. Each registration provides a place for one person only (you) and is non-transferable. Each individual wishing to attend must register separately. If you have a guest, they can still attend the public portions of the Great Moonbuggy Race in Huntsville.

What if I cannot come to Huntsville, Ala.?
If you cannot come to the Great Moonbuggy Race in Huntsville, Ala., to attend in person, you should not register for the NASA Social. You can follow the conversation using the #NASASocial hashtag on Twitter. NASA may broadcast a portion of the program on during the race, April 26-27. You can watch the races on April 26 and 27 on NASA TV or on the NASA Ustream page. NASA and the U.S. Space and Rocket Center will provide regular launch and mission updates on @NASA, @NASA_Marshall and @SpaceCampUSA.

If you cannot make this NASA Social, don't despair; NASA is planning others in the near future at various locations. Check back on http://www.nasa.gov/social for updates.

When will I know if I am selected?
After registrations have been received and processed, an email with confirmation information and additional instructions will be sent to those selected and those on the waitlist. We expect to send notifications by April 3.

If you are not selected for this event, don't despair. You can still attend public the Great Moonbuggy Race activities in Huntsville.

Does registration for and/or attendance at the NASA Social qualify me for media accreditation?
Your NASA Social registration and/or attendance does not qualify you for news media credentials at NASA's Marshall Space Flight Center, now or in the future.

Have a question not answered here? Need more information? Help is available by sending an email to hq-social@nasa.gov.

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Page Last Updated: July 28th, 2013
Page Editor: Jason Townsend