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The Great Moonbuggy Race

NASA's 2011 Great Moonbuggy Race (April 1-2, 2011) - Photo: NASA's Marshall Spaceflight Center

This past weekend in Huntsville, Alabama, the 18th Annual Great Moonbuggy race was held.

The fact that this has been going on for 18 years and I’ve only just learned about it, makes me sad.

The competition was inspired by the challenges which faced the designers of NASA’s first moonbuggy, which was shipped to the moon on Apollo 15.

Each Moonbuggy will be human powered and carry two students, one female and one male, over a half-mile simulated lunar terrain course including “craters”, rocks, “lava” ridges, inclines and “lunar” soil…

As a part of the competition, and prior to course testing, the un-assembled Moonbuggy entries must be carried to the course starting line, with the unassembled components contained in a volume of 4’x 4’x 4′ (dimension requirements similar to those for the original Lunar Roving Vehicle).

The College division was won for the second year in a row by racers from the University of Puerto Rico. Teodoro Aguilar Mora Vocational High School Team II of Yabucoa, Puerto Rico, also won in the High School division.

More than 70 teams from 20 countries all over the world took part in the race this year; the largest turn out ever.

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