Press Release

North Dakota State Triumphs in College Division of NASA’s 11th Annual Great Moonbuggy Race Saturday

By SpaceRef Editor
April 4, 2004
Filed under , ,
North Dakota State Triumphs in College Division of NASA’s 11th Annual Great Moonbuggy Race Saturday

For the second year in a row the team from North Dakota State University in
Fargo led the field today in the college division of NASA’s 11th annual
“Great Moonbuggy Race” in Huntsville, Ala.

North Dakota State’s team one topped 26 other college and university teams
from 13 states and Puerto Rico with a winning time of 3 minutes and 46
seconds. Vehicles powered by two team members — one male and one female —
raced one at a time over a half-mile obstacle course of simulated moonscape
terrain at Huntsville’s U.S. Space & Rocket Center.

In addition to the first place honor, the North Dakota State team earned a
cash award.

The team from Cornell University of Ithaca, N.Y, finished second with a time
of 4:23, while Arizona State University team one of Tempe placed third with
a 5:20 time. Those teams received plaques, and all three winning teams
received medallions and duffel bags bearing the Great Moonbuggy Race logo.

The award for Best Engineering Design went to the team from Utah State
University in Logan. The “Most Unique” award also went to Utah State
University for the use of carbon fiber reinforced composite material in
their moonbuggy. A team from University of Evansville in Indiana was
honored with a special “Pits Award” for ingenuity and persistence in
overcoming problems. Plus, a special “Crash and Burn” award, given for
handling adversity, went to Cameron University of Lawton, Okla., for
surviving the buckling of their moonbuggy while trying to negotiate one of
the tough lunar obstacles on the course.

The event is inspired by the actual lunar roving vehicle project, which was
successfully accomplished by NASA’s Marshall Space Flight Center in
Huntsville during the 1960s and 1970s. NASA engineers then had the challenge
to design and build a compact, light, flexible and durable vehicle that
would carry astronauts on the Moon’s surface during the Apollo missions.

The Moonbuggy Race is the culmination of a competition that challenges
students to design and build a human-powered vehicle so they will learn how
to deal with real-world engineering problems.

As they compete, the students are supporting the Vision for Space
Exploration announced in January by President Bush. Building a racing buggy
gives students hands-on experience that could pay off in fulfilling NASA’s
vision to return humans to the Moon and journey to Mars and beyond.

Sponsors of the event include the Marshall Center, U.S. Space & Rocket
Center, American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics
Alabama-Mississippi Section, Aerospace Development Center of Alabama, Morgan
Research Corporation, Jacobs Sverdrup Technology and television station
WHNT, all of Huntsville.

College teams included: Auburn University in Auburn, Ala.; Alabama A&M
University in Huntsville; Southern Illinois University in Carbondale; Purdue
University Calumet in Hammond, Ind.; Indiana University-Purdue University
Indianapolis in Indianapolis, Ind.; Pittsburg State University in Pittsburg,
Kan.; Murray State University in Murray, Ky.; University of New Orleans in
Louisiana; Ozarks Technical Community College in Springfield, Mo.; Cornell
University in Ithaca, N.Y.; Rochester Institute of Technology in Rochester,
N.Y.; University of Puerto Rico in Humacao; University of Tennessee in
Knoxville; Christian Brothers University in Memphis; Middle Tennessee State
University in Murfreesboro; and University of Vermont in Burlington.

In the high school division race held Friday, featuring 22 teams, a team
from New Orleans Area Schools grabbed first place with a time of 4:14.
Carlisle County High School of Bardwell, Ky., tied for second with Lafayette
County High School team one of Higginsville, Mo. with a 4:40 time. A team
from New Century Technology High School in Huntsville, Ala., placed third
with its time of 6:43.

The team from the Huntsville Center for Technology was awarded “Most Unique
Buggy” for their lunar positioning and oasis system. The award for best
moonbuggy design went to the team from Lafayette County High School, team
one. A special “Pits Award” for ingenuity and persistence in overcoming
problems was won by the team from Franklin County High School in Winchester,

Photos of the top-finishing college teams are available on line at the
Marshall Newsroom:

Photos of the top-finishing high school teams are available on line at the
Marshall Newsroom:

For more information about the “Great Moonbuggy Race” visit the Web site at:

SpaceRef staff editor.