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For Release: April 20, 1998

Jerry Berg
Media Relations Office
(256) 544-0034
jerry.berg@msfc.nasa.gov

RELEASE: 98-050



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New Jersey and Louisiana Schools Celebrate Victory
Following 5th Annual Great Moon Buggy Race

A team of students representing the College of New Jersey, in Ewing, rolled to victory Saturday in the 5th Annual "Great Moon Buggy Race" in Huntsville, Ala. Team members won a trip to NASA's Kennedy Space Center in Florida to view a Space Shuttle launch.

In the high school division, a team from Monterey High School, in Monterey, La., finished in first place. The team's prize is a weekend at U.S. Space Camp in Huntsville.

Teams representing 11 colleges and high schools from across the United States competed in the event, racing their versions of a "moon buggy" over a half-mile course of simulated lunar terrain at the U.S. Space & Rocket Center in Huntsville. The creative inventions were modeled after the NASA Lunar Roving Vehicle that was used by astronauts to travel the Moon's surface.

In the college division, a team from Pittsburg State University, in Pittsburg, Kan., placed second, and the University of Tennessee, in Knoxville, finished third.

A second team from Monterey High School took second place in the high school division, and Eastlake High School, in Chula Vista, Calif., placed third.

The race was sponsored by NASA's Marshall Space Flight Center in Huntsville -- where the Lunar Roving Vehicle was designed and developed. Other sponsors were the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics; the Alabama Aerospace Teachers Association, sponsor of the Space Camp prize; and the U.S. Space & Rocket Center.

"The Moon Buggy Race is a challenging, hands-on experience for students that combines creative engineering, teamwork and the spirit of competition," said race coordinator Dr. Jim Dowdy, university relations officer at Marshall. "And it's a learning experience. Regardless of how well a team performed, all the participants learn about resolving engineering problems and about the engineering challenges of the space program."

In the college division, a team from Arizona State University, in Tempe, won an award for best design from an original, creative concept and best technical solution to navigating on a planetary surface. In the high school division, the best design award went to Autauga County Vocational Center, in Prattville, Ala. The awards were presented by the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics.

College teams competing in the race were the College of New Jersey, Ewing; the University of Evansville, Evansville, Ind.; Pittsburg State University, Pittsburg, Kan.; Southern Illinois University, Carbondale; Arizona State University, Tempe; Auburn University, Auburn, Ala.; the University of Puerto Rico at Humacao; and the University of Tennessee, Knoxville.

High school teams were Eastlake High School, Chula Vista, Calif.; Autauga County Vocational Center, Prattville, Ala.; and Monterey High School, Monterey, La.

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