Great Moonbuggy Race

Roamy here.  This weekend is the Great Moonbuggy Race at the US Space and Rocket Center in Huntsville, AL.  High school and college teams come here from all over the world.

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… Each student team of six members is responsible for building their own buggy, and the course drivers, who are chosen from each team, must also be builders of the vehicle.

The moonbuggy must collapse to fit in a 4′ cube, then assembled at the start of the race.  The teams can run the course twice, with the faster time added to the assembly time for their score.  Awards go not only to the top three times, but also to the best rookie, most improved (from previous years), featherweight, system safety, and overall technical design.

Our friend Aggie may be interested to know that high school teams from Fajardo, Teodoro Aguilar Mora, Isidro Sanchez, and Escuela Superior Urbana from Puerto Rico competed, and that the University of Puerto Rico Humacao won the college division.

Many of my co-workers volunteer their time as the pit crew because, well, breakdowns happen, and we want the kids to get back in the race.

Need a welder, stat!

Watch it on http://www.ustream.tv/channel/nasa-msfc Friday and Saturday.  The Space and Rocket Center opens at 9 AM , so I wouldn’t look for the races to start any earlier than that. 7 AM Central Time for the races.

Update: CNN interview with Dr. Frank Six and the Huntsville Center for Technology team.