MOFFETT FIELD, Calif.- Upright, prone or recumbent; young inventors and engineers are gathering at NASA Ames Research Center, Moffett Field, Calif., to test the next generation of vehicles powered only by the human body. News media representatives are invited to media day activities covering the American Society of Mechanical Engineers (ASME) 2007 West Coast Human Powered Vehicle Challenge on April 14. During the media day, teams will compete in sprint and utility trials starting at 8:00 a.m. PDT.

On April 13-15, 2007, NASA Ames will host the ASME 2007 West Coast Human Powered Vehicle Challenge (HPVC). Twenty-five teams from the United States will compete in three vehicle classes: single rider, multi-rider and utility. The prototype vehicles are designed for everyday transportation for such activities as commuting to work or school, shopping trips and general transportation. The prototype vehicles are judged on design, safety and performance, and include a comprehensive design report, time trials and an endurance event.

“This kind of competition is a wonderful way to introduce students to the challenges of engineering, to the need to work as a team, and to the fact that persistence, ingenuity and creativity are necessary to design a vehicle that operates as required,” said Juan Alonso, director of the Fundamental Aeronautics program at NASA headquarters, Washington.

NASA Ames is hosting the 2007 West Coast Challenge in partnership with the NASA Aeronautics Research Mission Directorate at NASA headquarters, San Jose State University and the American Society of Mechanical Engineers. The ASME HPVC East Coast Challenge will take place at the University of Central Florida, Orlando, on May 11-13, 2007.

To reach NASA Ames, take the Moffett Field exit off U.S. 101 and drive east to the main gate. Maps for the ASME challenge media day will be available at the main gate. For additional information or interview requests, please contact Jonas Dino at 650-604-5612 or 650-207-3280.