NASA Announces First Lunabotics Competition Winners
University students tune up their lunabots › View large image
University students tune up their remote-controlled lunabots at the Kennedy Visitor Complex's Astronaut Hall of Fame. Image Credit: NASA/Jack Pfaller
Montana State University, Bozeman, Mont., was the first place and overall winning team in NASA's first Lunabotics Mining Competition. Twenty-two teams of college students tested their robot designs in a 'head-to-head' challenge held at the U.S. Astronaut Hall of Fame near NASA's Kennedy Space Center, May 27-28.

The competition determined which remotely controlled excavator or 'lunabot' could remove the most simulated moon dirt in 15 minutes. Montana State's winning lunabot removed 47 pounds of dirt. The team earned a $5,000 cash award from NASA's Exploration Systems Mission Directorate in Washington and an invitation to return to Kennedy to view a future launch.

Winners in other competition categories included: Auburn University, Auburn, Ala., for systems engineering; Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University, Daytona Beach, Fla., for outreach; University of Southern Indiana, Evansville, Ind., for team spirit and Western Kentucky University, Bowling Green, Ky., for presentation.

The competition is designed to help engage and retain students in science, technology, engineering and math disciplines critical to NASA's missions.

For more information about the competition, visit: http://www.nasa.gov/lunabotics.

View the video of Lunabotics on UStream.