NASA has announced the victors in the 17th annual Great Moonbuggy Race: The team representing the International Space Education Institute of Leipzig, Germany, won the high school division; and racers from the University of Puerto Rico in Humacao took first place in the college division. The race is organized by NASA’s Marshall Space Flight Center in Huntsville. It challenges students to design, build and race lightweight, human-powered buggies that tackle many of the same engineering challenges dealt with by Apollo-era lunar rover developers at the Marshall Center in the late 1960s.
Finishing in second place this year in the high school division was Fajardo Vocational High School of Humacao, Puerto Rico, which entered the competition for the first time in 2009. Third place in the high school division yielded a tie: race newcomer Jupiter High School of Jupiter, Fla., matched perennial top-three winner Huntsville Center for Technology Team 1 of Huntsville, Ala. — who also tied last year for the top high school trophy.
Race organizers presented both first-place winners with trophies depicting NASA’s original lunar rover. NASA also gave plaques and certificates to every team that competed. The first-place high school team also received $500 and a week at Space Camp, courtesy of race sponsors ATK Aerospace Systems of Huntsville. ATK awarded the second- and third-place high school teams $250 each. Race sponsor Lockheed Martin Corp. of Huntsville also presented the winning college team with $5,700 in cash. Individuals on the winning teams also received commemorative medals and other prizes. (For a complete list of additional awards for design, safety, innovation and spirit, see below.)
“Each year, NASA’s Great Moonbuggy Race clearly demonstrates the popularity, worldwide reach and intrinsic value of the agency’s education initiatives,” said Tammy Rowan, manager of the Marshall Center’s Academic Affairs Office, which organizes the race. “It’s our goal to augment and enrich the classroom experience, and inspire a new generation of scientists, engineers and explorers to carry on NASA’s mission of discovery throughout our solar system and deliver untold benefits back home on Earth.”
The moonbuggy race is inspired by the original lunar rover, first piloted across the moon’s surface in the early 1970s during the Apollo 15, 16 and 17 missions. The first race, held in 1994, commemorated the 25th anniversary of the Apollo 11 lunar landing. At the time, the event was only open to college teams, and eight participated. Two years later, the event was expanded to include high school teams.
NASA’s Great Moonbuggy Race is hosted each year by the U.S. Space & Rocket Center. Major corporate sponsorship is provided by Lockheed Martin Corp., The Boeing Company, Northrop Grumman Corp., and Jacobs Engineering ESTS Group, all of Huntsville
For photos of winning teams, visit:
For more information about the race, visit:
For information about other NASA education programs, visit:
NASA’s 17th annual Great Moonbuggy Race ADDITIONAL AWARDS AND PRIZES
Best Moonbuggy Design (for solving engineering problems associated with lunar travel)
Teodoro Aguilar Mora Vocational High School Team 2, Yabucoa, Puerto Rico
University of Alabama in Huntsville, Ala.
Jupiter High School, Jupiter, Fla.
University of Puerto Rico in Humacao, Puerto Rico
Best Performance by an International Team
Fajardo Vocational High School, Humacao, Puerto Rico
Krishna Engineering College, Ghaziabad, India
NASA Systems Safety Award (for the safest approach to building, testing and racing)
Tudor Viamu National High School of Computer Science Team 2, Bucharest, Romania
Pits Crew Award for ingenuity and persistence in overcoming problems during the race
Carlisle County High School, Bardwell, Ky.
C.T. Institute of Engineering, Management & Technology, Jalandhar, India
Crash and Burn Award (for the team that endures the most spectacular vehicle breakdown)
Erie High School Team 2, Erie, Kan.
Best Team Spirit (for overall team energy, enthusiasm and camaraderie)
Pana High School, Pana, Ill.
Wright State University, Dayton, Ohio
Rookie Award (for fastest course completion by a new race team)
Jupiter High School, Jupiter, Fla.
Rhode Island School of Design, Providence, R.I.
Most Improved Award (for the most dramatically improved engineering and performance)
Fairhope High School Team 1, Fairhope, Ala.
Cameron University, Lawton, Okla.
For more information please contact James Zachariah at Jupiter High School at firstname.lastname@example.org .