High Schools and Universities Tune in to Ustream Live Broadcast of 17th Annual NASA Great Moonbuggy Race
More than 32,000 people tuned in to a live broadcast on Ustream
of moonbuggies twisting and turning -- and sometimes toppling --over a half-mile simulated moon surface in the 17th annual NASA Great Moonbuggy Race
. The broadcast -- streamed live on the Web April 9 from the U.S. Space & Rocket Center in Huntsville, Ala. -- highlighted the adventures of more than 70 high school and college teams from around the world.
Organized by NASA's Marshall Space Flight Center in Huntsville, the competition’s high school and college students were challenged to design, build and race lightweight, human-powered moonbuggies that tackle many of the same engineering challenges dealt with by Apollo-era lunar rover developers at Marshall in the late 1960s.
Marshall Television Services produced and aired the race using Ustream -- a live, interactive broadcast platform that enables anyone with an Internet connection and a camera to engage their audience.
More than 600 drivers, engineers and mechanics converged on the Space & Rocket Center to put the moonbuggies to the test, while many of their families, friends and teachers watched the race unfold live from back home.
In Erie, Kan., the entire community was able to see the Erie High School team's performance via a channel on the local cable company, which carried the race live using the Ustream video. According to Erie High's moonbuggy advisor, Eric Craft, the high school students tuned in to the TV channel and the elementary students watched their hometown heroes via the Web, using overhead projectors to broadcast the Ustream video in each classroom. The school's broadcast of the Ustream represented a new milestone in sharing the excitement and hometown pride of the competing teams.
Although the defending moonbuggy champs from Erie didn't finish on top this year, they did bring home the Crash and Burn Award -- given to the team that endures the most spectacular vehicle breakdown. In both races, one of Erie’s buggies was on record pace to finish. Yet both times, the vehicles crashed just before the finish line. But because the students were able to upright one of the buggies and finish one of the races, they were able to finish 11th overall.
The team representing the International Space Education Institute of Leipzig, Germany, won the Great Moonbuggy high school division
; and racers from the University of Puerto Rico in Humacao took first place in the college division
For a Ustream archive of the race, visit:
For a complete list of winners and prizes, visit:
by Lori Meggs, AI Signal Research, Inc.
NASA's Marshall Space Flight Center
Media Contact: Angela Storey, 256-544-0034
Marshall Space Flight Center, Huntsville, Ala.