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Schülerberichte - 2012
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Laura Martin, Moonbuggy Team Italy/India, 2012 Highschool                 
International Space Education Institute

Venice, 28.03.2012

Laura MartinI’m 17 years old and I am attending the 4th class of the scientific lyceum “G.B.Benedetti” in Venice, where I live.
I have known the “Great Moonbuggy Race” for the first time in November 2011, when  Mr. Heckel, the chairman of the ISEI (International Space Education Institute) came to my high school to give us this wonderful opportunity for our careers and our personal experiences.
I have been very enthusiastic from the beginning, although the project seemed to be really hard, because I think that being able to travel in another country, speak different languages, built an entire moonbuggy on our own, and all that in cooperation with the most important national administration of aeronautics and space, is a once-in-a-life chance!
So my all class agreed happily to go in February to the Winter Workshop in Leipzig organized by Mr. Heckel: we learned the NASA’s values, what “working in a team” really means, how a moonbuggy works and how we could built one, the “Great Moonbuggy Race” rules, and we had our first approach in using machines and building metal pieces by our own hands.                                                                                                               
Then we had to select between us the most motivated 5 students who would have the chance to participate at the Great Moonbuggy Race 2012 in collaboration with an Indian team; so the first Italian Team was founded.
We suddenly started working very hard because we had many things to do and so little time.
Flight and insurance bought, we could focus on our Moonbuggy.

From the beginning we decided to divide the different tasks between us to make our job more efficient:                

  • we immediately looked for a factory which could produce our pieces; luckily, the father of one of us has a friend at work who could help us with his machine
  • we contact the local newspapers to arrange a press conference. We have been interviewed by “Il Corriere del Veneto”, “La Nuova” and “Il Gazzettino”                                                                                                           
  • we looked for sponsor, which has been the hardest thing. In fact there was too little time to contact the boss of the business company and many potential sponsors told us that they could not accept our offer because of the difficult financial situation, due to the crisis. But finally we found some interested company which became the official sponsor of our team.                                                                                                            
  • we found a firm which could provide us some pieces, non-manufacturable by ourselves

The project took us a lot of time: reconciling schoolwork, this and my private life was not so easy.
But our hard work and stress have paid off. I am very proud of what I have done with my teammates up to now because we get real gratification in our success.
I am sure that our transfer in Huntsville for the Great Moonbuggy Race will be a formative and unforgettable experience…We are looking forward to going there, can’t wait!