For high school and college students eager to try their design, building and
athletic skills in the 9th Annual Great Moonbuggy Race the sign-up deadline
is near. Teams must be registered for the race by Feb 1.

The event, sponsored by NASA’s Marshall Space Flight Center in Huntsville,
Ala., is scheduled April 12-13 at the U.S. Space & Rocket Center in

The competition requires student teams to design a human-powered vehicle and
in the process, confront real-world engineering problems. The challenge
continues when students, a male and female, race their vehicles over a
half-mile course of simulated lunar terrain, encountering man-made craters,
rocks, ridges and soft soil.

Inspiration for the race is the challenges faced and overcome by the NASA
team that designed the Lunar Rover Vehicle for Apollo astronauts to travel
on the Moon.

High school students race Friday, April 12, and college students race
Saturday, April 13.

"This year we’re hoping to have the biggest field ever," said Durlean
Bradford, Moonbuggy Race coordinator at the Marshall Center. "We already
have 15 high schools and ten colleges registered."

Teams from 20 states and Puerto Rico participated in 2001 bringing more than
50 teams to the competition.

"There is still time to put a team together, design the vehicle, build it
and be ready to compete in April, said Bradford. "But the registration has
to be completed and to us by Feb. 1."

Prizes are awarded not only for the fastest vehicles, but also to the team
whose design represents the best technical approach toward solving the
engineering problem of navigating the simulated lunar surface.

"This is a fun experience," Bradford said, "but it’s highly challenging in a
variety of areas – including, math, science, engineering, design and

For more information about participating in the Great Moonbuggy Race,
contact Bradford at: (256) 544-5920 or e-mail:

General information about the even may be found on the Web site:

More About the Marshall Center

The Marshall Space Flight Center is NASA’s lead center for development of
space transportation and propulsion systems, advanced large optics
manufacturing technology, as well as microgravity research – scientific
research in the unique low-gravity environment inside the International
Space Station and other spacecraft.

In the past, Marshall played key roles in the development and operation of
the Saturn V rocket, Skylab, the Lunar Roving Vehicle, Spacelab and the
Hubble Space Telescope. Today, the Center’s primary management
responsibilities include Space Shuttle propulsion systems; the Chandra X-Ray
Observatory; future large-scale space optics systems; the Space Launch
Initiative; space science and Earth science; and all scientific work aboard
the International Space Station. Marshall is responsible for developing
advanced space transportation systems designed to further the exploration of
space while slashing the cost of getting there from today’s $10,000 per
pound to only hundreds of dollars per pound, and even less.

The Center is working to bring a future among the stars closer to reality
for the people of Earth.