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NASA Moonbuggy Race - Press

20-gmbrgmbr-logoRegistration complete! Today in Leipzig 10 students have confirmed their participation at NASA top talent competition. It was at the end again a thrilling head-to-head race. Three students withdrew their application in the last minute. They didn't felt ready for the high and demanding mission. The remaining participant formed the only competing teams from Europe (Germany and Russia). Two other teams (Italy and Russia) had to withdraw their application.

Other educational institutions in Luxembourg, France, Spain and England weren't able to gather a sufficiently powerful team around them, even though the International Space Education Institute organized 250 events to prepare in advance. This contest is something like the world skills for young apprentices and engineers at the highest level.From the over 1000 parts of the Moon Buggy are 60% self-designed and self-fabricated. The other parts are hand picked standard industrial parts. In Leipzig we are particularly proud of our new differential gear and the advanced telemetry.


NASA expects the teams and the candidates to produce a video presentation, a description of all members and a team photo. Here is the Teamvideo for 2013:

Dim lights

Huntsville Alabama, In the Marshall Space Flight Center preparations are running at full speed. It is the 20th Anniversary of NASA's top junior competition. A record number of 119 teams have applied for the 2013 competition and this year's competition is uniquely, so it may lack nothing. Astronauts have been put on the guest list, entrepreneurs and supporters are invited even government officials from Washington announced their arrival. Hundreds of volunteers are preparing in the US Space & Rocket Center. To ensure there first Priority, a secure and smooth run of the competition. The advertising departments of industrial sponsors prepare the facilities and VIP areas. The jury has been starting advising on already handed in price applications. There are many awards in many disciplines. The work is carefully studied and evaluated. The over 1000 Competitors, from 14-22 are at the forefront, they deserve all the expenditure because the future belongs to them.

diedracahrles-bolden-in-huntsvilleIn the center are two dedicated women from the Human Resources Office of the High-tech giant “WILL Technology”. This expertise Company of Engineering is also one of the most important training grounds for leading engineers in the United Staates. Here are the best of the best selected, tested, formed and passed on to high-paying jobs.  Diedra Williams and Dr. Marilyn Lewis are leading this department. They are experienced in dealing with candidates and young researchers. They form the core of the competition with the support of NASA. Both have great organizational skills and remain calm at any moment.

On the edge are often inconspicuous and watching spectators... It is NASA's top from Washington D.C.. Such as in 2012 when  NASA administrator Charles Bolden visit the competition unexpected. Because of his judgment it was allowed to the Leipzig international teams to exhibit a moon buggy in the US Space & Rocket Center (USSRC) museum next to the original Apollo rovers. Team member Evgeniy Zakutin was shortly afterwards offered to complete his doctorate in Huntsville.



Called into the life was the NASA’s Great Moonbuggy  Race by Dr. Frank Six. The NASA scientist runs the office for human capital of the Marshall Space Flight Center (whose director in the 70's was the by-choice Leipziger Eberhard Rees) and is closely connected with the University of Alabama in Huntsville (UAH). In 1993 Six called in all surviving designers of the Apollo Moon Rovers and planned the competition with them. The claim is a self-made vehicle with all the technical requirements for a trip to the moon and on its surface. Only the low-energy drive is placed, for insurance reasons on muscle strength.  The muscle actuator makes out of this design competition a sports event with many emotions, movement, joy and enthusiasm. It is an experience, to see the work of multiple tinker of a vast variety of nations. There are no rivals. Everyone helps everyone - an important and given basic value which is awarded by the Jury.


The strict jury checks the fold-ability of the vehicle to a certain degree, tests the young designers and observed with 19 individual judges whether the route is run correctly and safely. Boys and Girls need to be driving the moonbuggy.


The head of the jury Dr. Konrad Dannenberg (senior engineer in the Apollo program, rocket propulsion), from 1993 to 2008, was born in Weissenfels, near Leipzig. NASA scientist Dr. Jesco von Puttkamer, who was born in Leipzig campainged for the International League with a team from Leipzig. In honor of his life's work for the young, and for the continuation of this work, are not only students flying in April 2013, but also the first time a German business delegation to the Moon Rocket City of Huntsville, Alabama, USA.






Team Germany High-school: Araceli Zeller (14), Sang Jin Kim (16), Tobias Volte (18), Tobias Meier (17), Cosma Heckel (6, guest competitor)






Team Russia College: Evgeniy Zakutin (25), Nadin Roessler (19), Alexander Frolov (24), Thommy Knabe (22), Roman Tarasov (15)

The travel programm of the team (PDF, 1MB)
the differential gear
the telemetry

translated by: Tobias Damm (17), International School Leipzig

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