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Louisiana Team Triumphs in High School Division of NASA's 'Great Moonbuggy Race'
Martin Jensen
Marshall Space Flight Center, Huntsville, Ala.
(Phone: 256.544.0034)
News Release: 04-088

Photo description: Winning high school team from 11th annual Great Moonbuggy Race A team from New Orleans, La., captured victory in the high school division of NASA's 11th annual "Great Moonbuggy Race" in Huntsville, Ala., Friday. New Orleans Area Schools team one broke the two year winning streak of a Missouri high school to capture the 2004 title.

The New Orleans team topped 21 other teams representing high schools from 10 states with a winning time of 4 minutes, 14 seconds. Vehicles powered by two team members -- one male and one female -- raced one at a time over a half-mile obstacle course of simulated moonscape terrain.

Image Above: A team from New Orleans, La., captures first place honors at the 11th annual "Great Moonbuggy Race" in Huntsville, Ala.
Image credit: NASA/MSFC

In addition to the first-place honor New Orleans Area School team one earned a weekend trip to Space Camp at the U.S. Space & Rocket Center in Huntsville.

The team from Carlisle County High School of Bardwell, Ky., tied for second with Lafayette County High School team one of Higginsville, Mo. -- the winning team for the past two years -- with a 4:40 time. A team from New Century Technology High School in Huntsville, Ala., placed third with its time of 6:43. Those teams received plaques, and all four winning teams received medallions and duffel bags bearing the Great Moonbuggy Race logo.

The team from the Huntsville Center for Technology was awarded "Most Unique Buggy" for their lunar positioning and oasis system. .The award for best moonbuggy design went to the team from Lafayette County High School, team one. A special "pits award" for ingenuity and persistence in overcoming problems was won by the team from Franklin County High School in Winchester, Tenn.

The event is inspired by the actual lunar roving vehicle project, which was successfully accomplished by NASA's Marshall Space Flight Center in Huntsville during the 1960s and 1970s. NASA engineers had the challenge to design and build a compact, light, flexible and durable vehicle that would carry astronauts on the Moon's surface during the Apollo missions.

The Moonbuggy Race is the culmination of a competition that challenges students to design and build a human-powered vehicle so they will learn how to deal with real-world engineering problems.

As they compete, the students are supporting the Vision for Space Exploration announced in January by President Bush. Building a racing buggy gives students hands-on experience that could pay off in fulfilling America's vision to return humans to the Moon and journey to Mars and beyond.

Sponsors of the event include the Marshall Center, U.S. Space & Rocket Center, American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics Alabama-Mississippi Section, Aerospace Development Center of Alabama, Morgan Research Corporation, Jacobs Sverdrup Technology and television station WHNT, all of Huntsville.

The college division competition will be held Saturday, with 32 teams from across the United States, including Puerto Rico, competing.

Other high school teams competing in Friday's event, listed alphabetically by state were: Fairhope High School in Fairhope, Ala.; Huntsville Center for Technology, Huntsville, Ala.; Madison County Career Academy in Huntsville; S.S. Simon and Jude High School in Phoenix, Ariz.; Labette County High School in Altamont, Kan.; DeSoto High School in Desoto, Kan.; Erie high School in Erie, Kan.; La.; South Central Career Center West Plains, Mo.; Central Hinds Academy in Raymond, Miss.; Pinewood Preparatory School in Summerville, S.C.; Franklin County High School, Winchester, Tenn.; and C.E. King High School in Houston, Texas.

Photos of the top-finishing high school teams are available on line at the Marshall Newsroom:

For more information about the "Great Moonbuggy Race" visit the Web site at: