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97-04-21 Great Moon Buggy Race Winners
97-04-21 Great Moon Buggy Race Winners
NASA News National Aeronautics and Space Administration Marshall Space Flight Center Huntsville, AL 35812 For Release: April 19, 1997 Jerry Berg Office of Media Services (205) 651-4712 / 544-0034 email@example.com RELEASE: 97-053 CALIFORNIA, LOUISIANA SCHOOLS WIN NASA'S MOON BUGGY RACE A team of students from the University of California at Santa Barbara emerged victorious today in the Fourth Annual Great Moon Buggy Race in Huntsville, Ala. Their prize is a trip to Kennedy Space Center in Florida to watch a Space Shuttle launch. In the high school division, Monterey High School in Monterey, La., finished in first place. The team's prize is a weekend at Space Camp at the U.S. Space & Rocket Center in Huntsville. Teams representing 16 colleges and high schools pitted their engineering skills against students from across the United States. Each team designed, built and raced its version of the "moon buggy." The half-mile-long track at the U.S. Space & Rocket Center in Huntsville simulated the lunar surface, with "lava ridges," "craters" and sandpits. This year's moon buggy race was sponsored by the Marshall Space Flight Center in Huntsville -- where the Lunar Roving Vehicle and the Saturn V that boosted it to the Moon were designed and developed. The moon buggy helped astronauts explore their landing sites on the Moon during the Apollo 15, 16 and 17 missions. "It's like an athletic contest in that it combines teamwork and competition, but the emphasis is on a hands-on engineering experience for the students," said NASA's Jim Dowdy, moon buggy coordinator at the Marshall Center. "Regardless of where they placed, competitors in the race came out of it with a better understanding and appreciation for the challenges that must be overcome in the space program." Each two-member team raced their human-powered buggy, piloted by one male and one female student. The winning time posted by the University of California at Santa Barbara team was 6 minutes, 56 seconds. The winning time for Monterey High School was 10 minutes, 39 seconds. In the college division, the University of Tennessee-Knoxville and the University of Puerto Rico in Humacao placed second and third, respectively. A prize was also awarded to the Santa Barbara team, whose buggy was judged to be the "best" design from an original, creative concept and offering the best technical solution to navigating on a planetary surface. In the high school division, the "best" design award went to Monterey High School. The college teams that competed were from: (Some schools sent more than one team.) Arizona State University (Tempe) Auburn University (Ala.) North Dakota State (Fargo) Ozark Community College (Springfield, Mo.) Pittsburg State University (Kan.) College of New Jersey (Trenton) University of Alabama in Huntsville University of Evansville (Ind.) University of Florida (Gainesville) University of Puerto Rico (Humacao) University of Vermont (Burlington) University of California at Santa Barbara University of Tennessee (Knoxville) There were three entries in the high school division: Bob Jones High School (Madison, Ala.) Monterey High School (La.) Autauga County Vocational Center (Prattville, Ala.) Sponsors of the event with Marshall included the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics, the U.S. Space & Rocket Center and the Alabama Aerospace Teachers Association. - end - NOTE TO EDITORS: Photos from the Fourth Annual Great Moon Buggy Race are available in TIFF and JPEG formats via computer at the Marshall Newsroom home page, http://www.msfc.nasa.gov/upload/pao/files/news.html.
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