Last week, NASA held its annual Moonbuggy Race in Huntsville, AL — celebrating a 20-year old challenge astronauts had to face after landing on the moon. Like every year, teams made up of would-be engineers competing to get their custom-built moonbuggy across the mock lunar terrain. However, this year is special as the competition has started receiving international attention from countries like India and Canada. The number of teams has drastically increased (nearly over a 100 this year), and popularity has been growing. High school students and university graduates are now looking to build their own buggy and compete among the best.
The Rules of the Great Moonbuggy Race
- Participants must design a vehicle that addresses a series of engineering problems similar to what astronauts faced on the original Moonbuggy team.
- The unassembled components of the moonbuggy must fit within a box measuring 4′ X 4′ X 4′ (same measurements the original Lunar Roving team had).
- The moonbuggy must be human powered and carry 2 students (one female, one male) over a 1/2 mile simulated lunar terrain course. Obstacles include “craters, lava ridges, inclines, and lunar soil.”
- Teams consist of 6 members, of which 2 must be the drivers of the vehicle. There is a high school division and college division. The top 3 winning teams in each division is determined by how long it takes you to assemble your moonbuggy and race it across the lunar terrain.
- For more information, visit the official webpage: click here.