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Record Number of Teams Preparing to Compete in NASA's 8th Annual 'Great Moonbuggy Race' April 6-7
Record Number of Teams Preparing to Compete in NASA's 8th Annual 'Great Moonbuggy Race' April 6-7
14 Mar 2001
(Source: Marshall Space Flight Center)

Marshall Space Flight Center
Release: 01-079

Students from across North America will be coming to Huntsville, Ala., to compete in the 8th annual Great Moonbuggy Race at the U.S. Space & Rocket Center April 6-7.

It's an event that has special ties to America's space program and this year more than 50 teams -- representing colleges and high schools from 20 states and Puerto Rico -- will roll into Huntsville. And for the student teams, it is a test of their design and engineering skills as well as their physical endurance.

The Great Moonbuggy Race is inspired by development of the first lunar roving vehicle, designed and tested at NASA's Marshall Space Flight Center in Huntsville. The race challenges students to design and build a human-powered vehicle to address engineering problems similar to those faced by the original Marshall Center lunar rover development team.

As part of the challenge, students must design a vehicle, that, unassembled prior to the race, occupies a space no more than 4 feet high, 4 feet wide and 4 feet long. During the race, each vehicle is powered by two team members -- one male and one female -- over a half-mile obstacle course of simulated moonscape terrain.

Winners in each category - high school and college - are determined by the fastest vehicle assembly time, plus time through the course. An additional prize is awarded to the team with the best technical approach to solving the engineering problem of navigating the "lunar" surface.

The annual event is sponsored by the Marshall Center, the U.S. Space & Rocket Center, the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics and the Alabama Aerospace Teachers Association.

Event details, a full listing of the competing teams, race rules, information on the course and photos from previous competitions can be found at the Great Moonbuggy Race Web site at:

Note to Editors / News Directors: News media interested in covering this year's race should contact Jerry Berg or Judy Pettus of the Marshall Media Relations Department at (256) 544-0034.

Individuals with questions about the event may phone Evett Turner of the Marshall Center's Education Programs Department at (256) 544-5920, or e-mail her at

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Last Updated: 5 Jun 2001