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NASA Moonbuggy Race - Huntsville 2012

Written by: Ralf Heckel

Translated by: Nadin Roessler, Mirandah Rider

Leipzig, March 22nd, 2012

 Today, the first of ten European Moonbuggy groups arrived in ‘Rocket City’, otherwise known as Huntsville, Alabama. After visiting the 100th birthday celebration of Wernher von Braun on the 23rd of March 2012, the arrival of the total 21 participants from Europe for the “Great NASA Moonbuggy Race”, which takes place from the 12th to the 14th of April 2012, will be prepared for the annual event. Four engineer teams from four countries, all a part of the International Space Education Institute of Leipzig, are registered for the race. The teams’ boys and girls are aged between 14 and 24 years old and come from Northern Germany, Saxony, Venice, Moscow and New-Delhi. Aside from their schooling, each team member strives to work hard for their future by gaining international experiences and references; each team member has invested a full year of their time and have mastered major difficulties after countless hours of work in Leipzig and their home towns.

Besides the assembly of their Moonbuggies in the workshop at the U.S. Space and Rocket Center in Huntsville, the students can expect a compact education-and-culture program with a variety of schools, universities, companies and a visit of Cape Canaveral.

The Moonbuggies, constructed according to specifications of the Apollo Moon Rover, have set high demands for the young designers. All vehicles were built with multi-national integrity; as a result, any apparent borders between the teams have vanished. Everybody works for an aim and also promotes his or her fitness from the training for the necessary bicycle-based discipline. All vehicles are based on an evolutional development of a moonbuggy named“Ganymed”, which was built in the ISEI Leipzig in 2007 and emerged as an overall winner. Details like the telemetry, a better landing gear, a small turning circle and the flight stabilization for the jumps in the rough terrain are just a few of the many new features this year.

The biggest challenge for the members and the leadership of the ISEI was the formulation of the whole project as a series of the professional orientation as well as the internship. The young chief engineer team, Evgeniy Zakutin and Roman Tarasov from Moscow, called their two-year work comparable with the work of a thesis. More than 100 specialists along with craft and industry companies had to be included to develop the project for European schools as a guidance that supports technical and motor abilities for future engineering. These improved participation opportunities open new ways for schools, classes and individuals to come to the next summer workshop in Leipzig.

In the next articles, we’ll present to you the individual members.

Some impressions of every workshop from each team, you’ll find here:

http://www.flickr.com/photos/spaceeducation/collections/72157626464935297/

 

Next dates:

April 02,2012: Remaining members travel to the USA

April 12th – 14th, 2012: NASA competition

May 05, 2012: Award ceremony in Leipzig

 
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