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For release: 04/12/03
Release #: 03-057


North Dakota triumphs in college division of NASA's 10th annual 'Great Moonbuggy Race'

Photo description: North Dakota State University in Fargo captures first place in college division of NASA's 10th annual "Great Moonbuggy Race" in Huntsville, Ala.

It was a grueling, obstacle-strewn course at the U.S Space & Rocket Center in Huntsville, but Team No. 1 from North Dakota State in Fargo conquered it and rode to victory in the college division of NASA's 10th annual "Great Moonbuggy Race." The team topped 23 others representing colleges and universities from 10 states and Puerto Rico. A team from the University of Tennessee Knoxville took second place and the team from the University of South Alabama in Mobile placed third. A team from The Lafayette County (Mo.) C-1 high school in Higginsville, Mo. won the high school division.

Photo: North Dakota State University in Fargo captures first place in college division of NASA's 10th annual "Great Moonbuggy Race" in Huntsville, Ala. (NASA/MSFC)


A team from North Dakota State University in Fargo, N.D., overcame a grueling, obstacle-strewn course and rode to victory today in the college division of NASA's 10th annual "Great Moonbuggy Race" in Huntsville, Ala.

The North Dakota State team No. 1 topped 23 college and university teams from 10 states and Puerto Rico. In addition to the first place honor, the team earned a trip to NASA's Kennedy Space Center, Fla., to view a Space Shuttle launch.

The University of Tennessee Team No. 1 from Knoxville finished second, while the team from the University of South Alabama in Mobile placed third. Those teams received plaques, and all three winning teams received medallions and duffel bags bearing the Great Moonbuggy Race logo.

The award for best moonbuggy design went to the Arizona State University Team No. 2 from Tempe and the same team was honored with a special "pits award" for ingenuity and persistence in overcoming problems.

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.

"It was way, way harder than I expected," said North Dakota State's Troy Redlinger after the team's victory was announced. "I knew it would be hard, but not this bad," added Redlinger. He and teammate Danielle Baumann, both seniors in mechanical engineering, piloted the winning vehicle, designed and built as a class project.

The competition 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. The race challenges students to design and build a human-powered vehicle so they will learn how to deal with real-world engineering problems — similar to those faced by the actual NASA lunar rover team.

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, sponsored the event.

College teams included Arizona State University in Tempe; Southern Illinois University in Carbondale; University of Evansville in Indiana; Purdue University Calumet in Hammond, Ind.; Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis in Indianapolis, Ind.; Pittsburg State University in Pittsburg, Kan.; University of New Orleans in Louisiana; Cornell University in Ithaca, N.Y.; Rochester Institute of Technology in Rochester, N.Y.; Cameron University in Lawton, Okla.; University of Puerto Rico in Humacao; 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 30 teams, Lafayette County (Mo.) C-1 High School Team No. 2 from Higginsville, Mo., captured first place honors. The team from East Lake High School in Chula Vista, Calif., finished second while a team from New Orleans Area Schools in New Orleans, La., placed third.

The award for best moonbuggy design went to the team from Huntsville Center for Technology in Huntsville, Ala. A special "pits award" for ingenuity and persistence in overcoming problems was won by the team from Collins Hill High School in Suwanee,

Photos of the top-finishing college teams are available on line at the Marshall Newsroom:
http://www1.msfc.nasa.gov/NEWSROOM/news/photos/2003/photos03-057.html
Photos of the top-finishing high school teams are available on line at the Marshall Newsroom:
http://www1.msfc.nasa.gov/NEWSROOM/news/photos/2003/photos03-056.html

For more information:
News release college winners
Photos college winners
News release high school winners
Photos high school winners


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