Press Release

NASA’s Off-World Racing Begins April 3 with 16th Annual Great Moonbuggy Race

By SpaceRef Editor
April 1, 2009
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NASA’s Off-World Racing Begins April 3 with 16th Annual Great Moonbuggy Race

What: Approximately 75 high school and college teams from around the world will converge on Huntsville, Ala., April 3-4 for off-world racing in NASA’s 16th annual Great Moonbuggy Race. On a course at the U.S. Space & Rocket Center in Huntsville, teams will propel wheeled lunar rovers of their own design across a simulated moonscape — one like no other racecourse on the Earth. Students strive to post the fastest buggy assembly and race times, competing for the top three prizes in high school and college divisions. A variety of other prizes, including best buggy design and rookie team of the year, are awarded by corporate race sponsors.

Who: More than 475 high school and college students from 20 states, Puerto Rico, Canada, India, Romania and Germany are expected to gather for the race.

Why: The moonbuggy race, which started in 1994, is inspired by the original lunar rovers designed and built for the Apollo moon missions in the 1970s by engineers at NASA’s Marshall Space Flight Center in Huntsville, which organizes the race. America’s next-generation engineers, explorers and scientists have built lightweight, self-powered buggies to overcome the challenges of the twisting, half-mile race course.

When: Friday, April 3 – First runs for high school and college competitors begin at 7:30 a.m. CDT and continue throughout the day Saturday, April 4 – Second competitor runs begin at 7:30 a.m.; awards presentation will be after the last race

Where: U.S. Space & Rocket Center, One Tranquility Base, Huntsville

To attend: News media interested in covering the event should contact the Marshall Public & Employee Communications Office at 256-544-0034 no later than 4 p.m. Thursday, April 2.

For more event details, race rules, information on the course and photos from previous competitions, visit:

Media, students, their families, friends and classmates can follow the Great Moonbuggy Race on Facebook and Twitter. Users can log on to those sites and search under “Moonbuggy” for updates throughout the race.

For more information about NASA and agency programs, visit:

SpaceRef staff editor.