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News Link • Space Travel and Exploration

NASA's Moonbuggy Race: Pedal-Powered Rovers Face Off for Prizes


They may not actually be driving on the moon, but 84 teams from the United States and three other countries are hoping they've got the right stuff to win NASA's latest rover race, a pedal-powered challenge to build the sleekest, fastest mock moonbuggy.

The two-day Great Moonbuggy Race kicks off today (April 1) at the U.S. Space & Rocket Center in Huntsville, Ala., where high school and university teams have converged to put their mock moon rovers to the test.  It's the 18th annual moonbuggy race held by NASA's Marshall Space Flight Center, but the 2011 contest comes in a landmark year for the agency: 40 years ago in July, astronauts drove the first car on the moon during the Apollo 15 mission.

"The event challenges high school and college students to design, build and race lightweight, human-powered rovers – 'moonbuggies' – which address many of the same engineering challenges dealt with by Apollo-era lunar rover developers in the late 1960s," NASA officials explained in a statement.


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