• ETC
  • May 4, 2013
There are a lot of awards handed out at the Great Moonbuggy Race, from 'Most Improved' to 'Crash and Burn,' but the one every team wants is the first-place trophy. This year was the 20th year of the annual event, held at the US Space & Rocket Center under the auspices of NASA, Lockheed Martin, Boeing, Northrop Grumman and Aerojet, and it was two teams from Puerto Rico that took first in both high school and college divisions.

The race tested proof-of-concept vehicles created by 89 teams of high school and college students from around the world. Teams of six competitors include one male and one female driver and they have to design a buggy that, disassembled , fits into a 4x4x4 space. When the clock starts, the teams have to build their buggies and run them over a half-mile course that mimics the moonscape; whichever team has the shortest combined time wins. The winning time from Teodoro Aguilar Moro Vocational High School (pictured) was 3:24, while the collegiate entry from the University of Puerto Rico at Humacao won with a time of 3:32.

There's a press release below with more details and a list of all the winners, plus a video from NASA Television on last year's race.


Show full PR text
Puerto Rico Teams Take Top Spots at 20th NASA Great Moonbuggy Race

4/27/2103 -- NASA today declared the winners of the 20th NASA Great Moonbuggy Race at the U.S. Space & Rocket Center in Huntsville, Ala. Team 1 from Teodoro Aguilar Mora Vocational High School of Yabucoa, Puerto Rico, won first place in the high school division; racers from the University of Puerto Rico at Humacao claimed the college-division trophy.

The winning teams outraced more than 89 teams from 23 states, Puerto Rico, Canada, India, Germany, Mexico and Russia. Approximately 600 student drivers, engineers and mechanics -- plus their team advisors and cheering sections -- gathered April 26-27 for the 20th "space race."

Organized by NASA's Marshall Space Flight Center in Huntsville, the race challenges students to design, build and race lightweight, human-powered buggies. Traversing the grueling half-mile course, which simulates the cratered lunar surface, race teams face many of the same engineering challenges dealt with by Apollo-era lunar rover developers at the Marshall Center in the late 1960s. The winning teams post the fastest vehicle assembly and race times in their divisions, with the fewest on-course penalties.

The team from Teodoro Aguilar Mora Vocational High School, in its third year in the competition, finished the half-mile course in 3 minutes, 24 seconds. The University of Puerto Rico at Humacao, who won second place in the college division in the 2012 race, brought home a first-place win, finishing in 3 minutes, 32 seconds.

Finishing in second place this year in the high school division was Jupiter High School Team 1 of Jupiter, Fla. In third place was Jupiter High School Team 2.

International Space Education Institute/Moscow Aviation University "Team Russia" of Moscow won second place in the college division; and Middle Tennessee State University of Murfreesboro took home third place.

Race organizers presented both first-place winners with trophies depicting NASA's original lunar rover. Sponsor SAIC of Huntsville provided every participating moonbuggy team with a commemorative plaque. Sponsor Lockheed Martin Corp. of Huntsville presented the first-place high school and college teams with cash awards of $3,000 each.

Individuals on the winning teams also received commemorative medals and other prizes. (For a complete list of additional awards for design, most improved and spirit, see below.)

The race is inspired by the original lunar rover, first piloted across the moon's surface in the early 1970s during the Apollo 15 mission, and used in the subsequent Apollo 16 and 17 missions. Eight college teams participated in the first NASA Great Moonbuggy Race in 1994. The race was expanded in 1996 to include high school teams, and student participation has swelled each year since.

NASA's Great Moonbuggy Race has been hosted by the U.S. Space & Rocket Center since 1996. Major corporate sponsors for the race are Lockheed Martin Corporation, The Boeing Company, Northrop Grumman Corporation, Aerojet and Jacobs Engineering ESSSA Group, all with operations in Huntsville.

For more information about the race, visit: http://moonbuggy.msfc.nasa.gov

For information about other NASA education programs, visit: http://www.nasa.gov/education

NASA's 20th Great Moonbuggy Race
ADDITIONAL AWARDS AND PRIZES

Neil Armstrong Best Design Award (for solving engineering problems associated with lunar travel):
Academy of Arts, Careers & Technology in Reno, Nev.
Southern Illinois University at Carbondale in Carbondale, Ill.

Featherweight Award (for the lightest buggy on the track):
Escuela Superior Rafaelina E. Labron Flores in Patillas, Puerto Rico
Purdue University Calumet Team 1 in Hammond, Ind.

AIAA Telemetry and Electronics Award (for the most innovative onboard data-gathering and delivery system):
Mukesh Patel School of Technology Management & Engineering in Maharashtra, India

Frank Joe Sexton Memorial Pit Crew Award (for ingenuity and persistence in overcoming problems during the race. Sexton, a NASA welder who mentored numerous welders and engineers among the Marshall workforce, worked on the original lunar rover and numerous other space vehicles until his death in 2000):
Fairhope High School Team 1 and Team 2 in Fairhope, Ala.
Texas A&M University-Kingsville in Kingsville, Texas

Crash and Burn Award (for the team that endures the most spectacular vehicle breakdown):
Bevill State Community College Team 1 in Sumiton, Ala.

Spirit Award (for overall team energy, enthusiasm and camaraderie):
Petra Mercado High School in Humacao, Puerto Rico

Rookie Award (for fastest course completion by a new race team):
Escuela Superior Rafaelina E. Labron Flores in Patillas, Puerto Rico
North Dakota State University in Fargo

Most Improved Award (for the most dramatically improved engineering and performance):
Huntsville Center for Technology Team 1 in Huntsville, Ala.
Middle Tennessee State University Team 1 in Murfreesboro

Best Report Award (technical documentation of the equipment and procedures used in design, build, test and the results obtained):
University of Puerto Rico, Mayaguez

System Safety Award
University of Alabama in Huntsville

Lunartic Award (presented by AIAA to the team in each division that wins the Moon Bowl, a lunar science quiz):
New Britain High School in New Britain, Conn.
Accurate Institute of Management & Technology in Uttar Pradesh, India

Best Question of the Rover Pioneers Award (for best question asked during an April 26 event with members of the original lunar rover team):
Cape Girardeau Career & Tech Center in Cape Girardeau, Mo. -- Husan Wadi


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    • 1 Second Ago
  • 8 Comments
      jebibudala
      • 1 Year Ago
      I watched pretty much all 8 hours of this on the NASA channel. It's by far one of the dumbest events I'd ever witnessed solely due to the fact that you are ALLOWED to physically push/carry/drag your moon buggy around the course and it counts, even if it never worked. Everyone wins, there are no failures or losers. Good job, pat yourself on your back. All participants already succeeded in life.
      thecowfers
      • 1 Year Ago
      Why? Their not using the one they already have!
      Skean
      • 1 Year Ago
      Antena? That team will be lucky to get a vehicle out of the parking lot.
      stecki3d
      • 1 Year Ago
      Well this will be wait for when NASA goes back to the moon. oh wait...
        stecki3d
        • 1 Year Ago
        @stecki3d
        err this will be great for when they go back to the moon lol... my kingdom for an edit button!
      StaceyS
      • 1 Year Ago
      NASA should just go to a Kinetic Sculpture Race. Those things have to be amphibious and be able to negotiate sand as well as roads. But, they don't have to fit in a 4'x4'x4' space...
      GasMan
      • 1 Year Ago
      Granny called. She wants her quad-cycle back.
      Additech
      • 1 Year Ago
      This looks like a lot of fun. Its great to see people being creative and active together.