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Student reports - 2013

amandanadin-unitSaturday, December 28th, 2013

The workshop began at 10:00 in the morning with Nadin Roessler, a former Moonbuggy driver, presenting the team members with her reactions of last year’s competition. She spoke to the new team about what it takes to have the power to compete in Huntsville/Alabama and have high marks, what she learned through the process and inspired the workshop students to try as hard as they can and to believe that they can.

After Nadin’s presentation, we were visited by Nikita Yaskevitch and his collegue, IBM-engineers from Moscow. Nikita Yaskevitch presented the Youth Space Center of the Moscow Baumann University (MGTU) and its mission, goals and accomplishments. We were very lucky to have their presence. Each team member had the opportunity to introduce themselves to the engineers and see the career possibilities they have in the future if they continue with space education.

nikita-unitAfter both presentations, we breaked for a spaghetti lunch with all alongside us. Once everyone’s stomachs were full, the students, Nikita his collegue, Evgeniy Zakutin --the working engineer at ISEI, myself, workshop leader--Ralf Heckel and his two daughters--Cosma and Tara, traveled to the nearby park for Rover training. We all tested what it was like to drive in the first seat of the Rover and to pedal in the second seat. We tested it in obstacles of sand and riding over a small concrete hill. Some students had had experience, others not. It was my first time in the Rover and I now know that it is definitely more difficult than it looks.

After the Rover training, around 4:00 p.m., I left with Evgeniy Zakutin to give a short tour of Leipzig to our two Russian guests. The students went to the institute and started to write their reports.

Sunday, December 29th, 2013

amanda-unitAt my arrival to the workshop on Sunday, the telemetry unit finished. An electronic- and physic-teacher gave an overview about the Rover´s telemetry. I held a one hour graphic design lesson to teach the students how to create a team logo for each of their schools. I broke the design process into three parts.

Firstly, I asked what are the values of the team. Words like success, safety, teamwork, etc. were spoken across the three languages we were working in; Spanish, German and English. It made for a quite entertaining mix.

The next question was about which images could be created to represent each of these values. I explained how this part can be tricky. Often the values are complex ideas, but the resulting graphics need to be simple.

Thirdly, we created a cohesive image that could combine the three favorite values within the team patch circle.

I assigned the students to each brainstorm ten more values and ways to depict each. In the upcoming week, we will sit together to refine their sketches. Following the lesson, we sat together to eat a lunch of homemade chicken noodle soup.

team-2014jannis-vincentAfter the meal, it was time for another set of training. This day included one more challenge than the previous Saturday. Each team member had to attempt to drive the Rover up a small, but steep grassy hill. We learned that in order to achieve a goal like this, the drivers have to start with a lot of power. With each drive, the team understood more about how the Rover works and increased their individual skill levels.

sandbig-hillAround 3:00 p.m., we returned to the institute to build “mini Rovers.” Tobias Meier introduced to the class how to build it, then Ralf continued with more detailed instructions. Each student and myself were given our own metal Rover dye-cut to de-construct and build into a functioning mini Rover. Firstly we had to cut and round screws that we would later use for the axles. Then we followed the mini Rover manual for step-by-step image instructions.

minirovervincentFollowing the mini Rover construction, I recorded a video of Tobias teaching how to build the mini Rover in German, Lennart Lederer teaching it in English and Araceli Zeller teaching it in Spanish. It is important for the students to not only know how to build and develop the Rover, but also to be able to move forth and teach how to build the Rover. This creates thorough understanding.

The weekend workshop consisted of several, interlinking aspects. The technical/engineering side and the physical side were tackled equally. The students can only succeed in the physical race if each member understands how the wheels are affixed, what parts are moving exactly when the driver steers, and so forth. The training in the park is also important. It builds muscle memory for driving the Rover and it also helps them to understand why the Rover is designed as it is.

lrpscheilAt the last 3rd day the students learned more about sponsoring, presswork and marketing. Ralf drove with them to several companies and explained them how to collect sympathie and donators money.

I look forward to seeing the further development and successes in each of the Team Germany members.

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Student reports - 2013
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telemetrieNach dem heutigen Frühstück, welches von 9-10 Uhr stattfand, haben wir uns einen Vortrag über die Telemetrie angehört. In diesem Vortrag wurden uns recht simpel die verschiedenen Übertragungsformen erklärt. Des Weiteren wurde uns mit einen Amateurfunkgerät auf einem extra darauf zugeschnittenen Programm Positionen von Personen, welche zu dieser Zeit funkten, angezeigt.

graphicBevor wir uns zum Mittagessen die Bäuche voll schlugen, haben wir mit Amanda über Logos gesprochen. Sie erklärte uns den theoretischen Ablauf von Ideensammlung bis hin zur Umsetzung. Daraufhin haben wir uns ein Logo für unser Moonbuggyteam überlegt, allerdings konnten wir bisher nur Ideen sammeln, aber wir konnten uns noch nicht an die Umsetzung wagen. Da wir auch noch Logos für unsere Schul AG machen sollen, müssen wir diese Aufgabe zu Hause angehen.

moonbuggy-trainingNach einem einstündigen Mittagessen bis 12:00, haben wir uns wieder auf das Moonbuggy gesetzt, und sind zur Teststrecke gefahren. Heute sind wir allerdings nicht nur Kurven und über kleine Hügel gefahren, sondern konnten uns auch einmal am Sandkasten und an einem „steilen“ Berg probieren, wobei uns der Berg noch ein paar Probleme bereitet hat. Hier wird wohl noch einiges Training erforderlich sein, vor Allem für unsere Neueinsteiger.

minibuggyNach dem Training auf dem Buggy haben wir Minibuggys gebaut. Da wir keine vorgefertigten Achsen hatten, mussten wir uns diese schneiden und schleifen. Danach fingen wir an den kleinen Buggys zu basteln. Es war uns nicht in allen Schritten leicht gefallen, da man hier relativ gutes Feingefühl braucht. Nachdem wir mit dem Bauen der Buggys fertig waren, haben wir eine kleine Videoanleitung in 3 verschieden Sprachen aufgenommen und zwar in Deutsch, Spanisch, welche die Muttersprache von Araceli ist, und in Englisch.

Und jetzt gehen wir Abendbrot essen.

Lennart Lederer, Araceli Loreley Michell Zeller
Gymnasium Burgstädt, Realschule Titisee-Neustadt
International Space Education Institute

Telemetrie, Grafik, Training, Minibuggy

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One year ago, the NASA scientist Jesco von Puttkamer died with the age of 79. The senior employee of the US Space Agency lost the battle to a flu virus in his home in Washington DC on the 27th of December, 2012. He left his wife Ursula.


Jesco von Puttkamer will not be forgotten as an author, speaker and 1960s TV guest, in Germanz and the U.S. The complete development of Apollo, Skylab, Space Shuttle, ISS and the strategic preparation for the mars mission have created his legacy within NASA and youth interested in space exploration. The mediation between ESA and Russia is in thanks to him. The list of awards is long. Among other things, the former engineer, von Puttkamer, received the honorary doctorate and the professorship, became the distinguished German-American of the year, 2008, and an asteroid was named after him. Above all, the NASA scientist, who didn’t have any of his own children, supported one thing: motivating youth to science.

On the 4th of February, 2013, NASA arranged a commemoration in the name of the engineer, scientist and visionary. A twenty man delegation of students and businessmen from Germany was invited to an extensive excursion.

On the 22nd of September, 2013, the 80th birthday of von Puttkamer, international colleagues and friends founded the “Jesco von Puttkamer Society” and donated a plaque at his birth house in Leipzig and at his former home on Monte Sano in Huntsville, Alabama. Beginning in 2014 and following each year, the society will donate an award to young and science students. In September 2014, the first Jesco von Puttkamer Readings will be held. International scientists and colleagues of von Puttkamer will inform the young generation and interested people about the future of space flight and its use for the progress.

The society keeps the Puttkamer network alive, honors the legacy of the scientist, supports young talents for natural science and is the first contact for giving names, prizes and awards in the name of von Puttkamer.

The Jesco von Puttkamer International Team Award is endowed with USD $1000 and will be given to international committed teams on the April 12th, 2014 at the NASA Rover Challenge in the Rocket City of Huntsville. The International Space Education Institute - Leipzig, an association launched in part by von Puttkamer, will judge the award.


Today, one year after the death of Jesco von Puttkamer, international students and engineers have a meeting in their workshop Together they prepare for the NASA Rover Challenge by developing a mars rover with non-pneumatic wheels and electronically supported pedals in the home city of Wagner, Porsche & BMW. The workshops are regularly continued in Moscow, Venice, Neu-Delhi and Huntsville, AL. With their work, they bring the memory of a committed scientist to the future.

Today, the digital rollout of the first NASA Rover takes place in the name of Jesco von Puttkamer in his birth town, Leipzig.

Donation account:
Account: 209981005
Jesco von Puttkamer
Commerzbank Leipzig 86040000
International Space Education Institute

International Space Education Institute e.V. Leipzig
Jesco von Puttkamer Gesellschaft e.V. Leipzig,
Huntsville/AL, Moskau
Wurzner Str. 4, 04315 Leipzig

Text: Ralf Heckel
Translation: Nadin Rößler

contact: info at

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press news - News Presse Deutsch


jvp-tafel-hsvYesterday a second plaque for the German - American scientist was inaugurated at 6 pm. After a 1st plaque at the hose of the birth in Leipzig, this panel has now been attached to his living house from the Apollo era in Huntsville/Ala. In this house (1420 on Monte Sano Boulevard, on a forested mountain plateau with a settlement) the NASA scientist lived from 1962 until 1974. There were numerous scientific meetings were held after work , which resulted in the Moon landing at the end. Today the house is inhabited by a young science family. 

After a honorary speech about the reasons of this plaque, it was unveiled to applause . The guests were Frederick Ordway (Book Author), Heidi Weber Collier ( descendant of a family from the team of Wernher von Braun ), Jürgen Drescher (DLR Washington ) , as well as engineers, teachers and citizens. After that there were at beer tables sausage with sauerkraut and pumpernickel . The talks lasted until late in the evening. A 2nd meeting was on Monday oct. 14th. People from a school and the Marschall Spaceflight center came. It was a beautiful afternoon with coffee, cake and a glas of sweet Riesling Vine.

jvp-2ndmeetingAt the evening before the International Space Club hosted a dinner with over 1,000 guests in the USSRC Davidson Centre . Here, many scientists have been awarded in the name of Wernher von Braun. The former NASA administrator Prof. Dr. Michael Griffin and the Canadian astronaut Chris Hadfield recieved Awards. The motto was : Future Mars Human Exploration". Prof. of Puttkamer published in the previous year , the book " Mars Millennium Project .

The inauguration was organized by the International Space Education Institute. The plaque was donated by the Jesco von Puttkamer society.

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press news - News Presse Deutsch

House of Dr. Jesco von Puttkamer
1420 Monte Sano Blv.
Huntsville, Al 35108

Thursday, October 10th, 2013 at 5p.m.

contact: info (at) jvputtkamer (dot) com
cellphone: (347) 225 4136 

Herewith: All friends, colleagues, readers, fans and supported Moonbuggy students of the NASA scientist Prof. / Dr. Jesco von Puttkamer are invited to attend.   A plaque will be unveiled at the former home of Dr. von Puttkamer wherein he resided during the Apollo era. This is the second plaque to be unveiled, following a prior inauguration at the birthplace of the NASA scientist in Leipzig, Germany on September 24, 2013.

ussrcProf. / Dr. Jesco von Puttkamer would have been 80 years old on September 22nd.  He worked in Huntsville, Al after receiving invitation from Wernher von Braun to support the Apollo program beginning in 1962.  He had an office in the MSFC (known as the von Braun Hilton), calculated lunar orbits and planned the reusability of spacecraft . Later he headed a working group to repair the Skylab.  Since 1974 Dr. von Puttkamer moved to and worked at the NASA headquarters in Washington. There he helped plan and prepare the shuttle program and the construction of the ISS. He always was engaged in international cooperation with Russia.  He was responsible for orchestrating the visit of Sputnik designer Korolev's daughter to Huntsville in 2008.  But, his dream remained of Mars.  As a young science fiction author , NASA consultant for Star Trek and also of non-fiction books, Dr. von Puttkamer was published numerous times.  His last book, "The Millennium Project Mars" addressed a manned landing on Mars.


Since 2006 Dr. von Puttkamer came every year back to Huntsville, Al and supported the international league of teams participating in the annual NASA Moonbuggy Race.  During these returns, he would meet with U.S. students and international students at historical sites of the "von Braun team" in Huntsville.  These sites commemorate many who paved the way to the future and should not be forgotten.

The "Jesco von Puttkamer Society", founded September 24, 2013, consists of close friends and colleagues and also international students of the scientist.  This plaque is dedicated to the memory of this great scientist who was able to join and link the international world of aerospace.

Merits/Achievements of Prof. Jesco von Puttkamer

No scientist shaped our present and future as sustainable as Prof. Jesco von Puttkamer by his works
reaching over five decades telling of things between science fiction and science reality - between
vision and reality expectant.

1961 Engineering diploma for Mechanical Engins, TU Aachen
1962 Emigration to the United States, working at NASA during the Apollo moon program
1964 Studies on the reusability of the SBII stage of the Saturn V moon rocket
Professional engineer graduate of the State of Alabama
1973 Head of the working group for the repair of the Skylab
1974 Head of the Strategic Planning Working Group of the permanent development of the universe
1975 Employee of the Apollo-Soyuz Test Project, preparation of crews
Moving to Washington, NASA Headquarters, Space Operation Mission Directorate
Involved in the planning and construction of the Space Shuttle
1976 Recruiting officer for the Space Shuttle Astronaut Corps
1978 NASA scientific consultant for Star Trek - The Movie (1979)
1983 Honorary Professor at the University of Applied Sciences Aachen (to 2000)
1996 Honorary Doctor of Philosophy, University of Saarbrücken
1998 Start of daily status reports of the ISS to the Congress, White House and Industry
2005 Advisory Board Chairman of the International Space Education Institute of Leipzig (until
recently) since then daily use for young researchers in Germany
2004 "Exceptional Service Medal" by NASA
2007 "NASA Honor Award" for good development of co-operation with Russia
2009 "Distinguished German-American of the Year", Philadelphia (GAHFUSA, Bush, Griffin)
2011 Name-giving of the asteroid "266725 Vonputtkamer" in recognition of the JPL (NASA)
2012 Since 1990, highly sought-after speaker on schientific conferences and congresses in
(Huntsville / USA, Germany, Austria, Moscow)
2013 highly doted commemoration by NASA (4.2.2013)


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