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Huntsville/Alabama, 12.04.2014
translated by Mathilda Drews

russiagermany

That was a competition like none before. The NASA Rover Challenge is not only the former Moonbuggy Race, but also “THE” US-Students-Competition for future extra-terrestrial vehicles in the solar system. The rules became harsher and the requirements higher. Many of the registered teams did not manage the participation. Two teams from Europe also had to stay at home. The best competet over the last two days. Only few vehicles arrived at the finish line with the two racers still on them. The enthusiasm and the excitement of the approximately 80 participanting teams however were not damaged. The weather consisted of radiant sunlight. There were broken wheels, destroyed tires. bended frames, flying chains and lots of sunburns. Now everyone knows where improvement is required.


crater1sandThe ISEI-Teams from Leipzig did well. In the first round, both teams lost the front left of their new foldable fenders. The russian team (Katja Trusheva 13, Vadim Kursonov 18; advised by Evgeniy Zakutin 26; a dipl. engineer who currently lives in Leipzig) which was aided by Leipig drove the course carefully and explored it. The German Team appeared as a college team for the first time. It is already the third time competing for front driver Tobias Meier, who has been around among the participants. He drove the Rover with Mathilda Drews (Leipzig International School); sovereign and with high speed without any driving errors.

Dim lights The course now consists of head-sized limestone boulders, fine rolling pebbles, deep beds of sand and several tons uncompacted gravel. All obstacles that were on it are suitable for the Rovers to finish the drive. For many participants that was the case. But only the bravest could still manage and controll their vehicle.


vadimcatiOn today's second race day all participating teams gave their best. There is an excellent small repair and assembling shop in the pit lane. Here, all teams were able to fix any occuring damages on their rovers according to their abilities. This especially requires the ability to improvise. Also the two ISEI teams improvised already since the beginning of the week, as essential buggy pieces had been forgotten in Leipzig. They themselves had to manufacture new pieces on the lather. Also a new fender with the size of 120 square inches had to be made.

 

Team Russia significantly improved its race time with out any penalties. Team Germnay had already slightly run out of "air". The nonpneumatic wheels had deformed themselves slightly under the heat of the day and the strain of the driving. This made pedalling more exhausting. But on the other hand the German Rover transmitted a video-live stream through their board-camera. The audio signal was already transmitted topnotch. The video quality still can be worked on: http://new.livestream.com/accounts/7874070. Both teams achieved an assembling time of only seven seconds at the inspection.

3platzjvprussiaTeam Germany mit Jesco von Puttkamer Internationl Team Awardrussia

The surprise came at the Award ceremony. Ms. Dr. Alotta Taylor from NASA headquarters handed over the numerous awards. Both ISEI-Teams were calculated as the fastest international teams and were presented with the "Jesco von Puttkamer International Tea, Award" and 500$ each.

Team Russia obtained third place in the tough highschool-division and was presented another award by the director of the Marshall Spaceflight Center; Mr. Patrick Scheuermann. Both teams became the media pets of Huntsville: http://blog.al.com/breaking/2014/04/students_from_russia_germany_v.html


minibuggyheckel

NASA Headquarters confirmed the invitation of these teammembers to Washington DC for the comming week. Now everyone is happy.

Studentreports: http://www.spaceeducation.de/de/schuelerberichte.html
Photos of the events: https://www.flickr.com/photos/spaceeducation/collections/72157643356259455/