Saturday, April 4, 2009

The 16th Annual Moonbuggy Race!

Please click on the smaller version to see the larger ones...thanks to David and Doug for letting me "steal" these pics.

This weekend was the 16th annual Great Moonbuggy Race, here in Huntsville, AL.

Here is what the NASA press release says about the race...

"More than 500 high school, college and university students from 21 states, Puerto Rico, Canada, Germany, India, Mexico and Romania are expected to gather for the 2009 event, to be held April 3-4 at the U.S. Space & Rocket Center in Huntsville. "

"Each moonbuggy must be human powered and piloted by two students, one female and one male. There's no official weight limit, but just as pairs of Apollo moonwalkers had to unload and prepare their lunar rover for travel, race drivers must be able to assemble their collapsed vehicle, then pick it up -- with no help from other teammates -- and carry it some 20 feet to the start of the race course."

"The twisting, half-mile course includes sand and gravel pits, simulated lunar craters, humps and other obstacles. Top prizes are awarded to the three teams in the high school division and three in the college division that post the fastest buggy assembly and race times. A variety of other prizes, including best buggy design and rookie team of the year, are awarded by the corporate race sponsors."

Marshall TV was out there to shoot video of the races in HD so that the footage could be used for the various live shots the moonbuggy teams participated in with their local TV stations.

Here is a pic of me shooting video of one of the teams...

Months of work goes into preparing these buggies, but sometimes the course got the upper hand...

This high school team flipped over, but the got up, turned the buggy back on it's wheels and finished the course!

It was quite a weekend and I am always amazed at the complexity of these vehicles!

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