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11 students from Switzerland, Germany, Russia and the USA are entering the NASA Rover Challenge in Huntsville/Alabama in two teams for the International Space Education Institute Leipzig. It was the most complex and difficult to carry through selection of the students since the first participation 8 years ago. The competition (formerly known as the NASA Moonbuggy Race), now includes plenty of new assessments and prepares the younger generations for scientific occupations which will later help them explore our solar system. The center of attention is for the selected students, apprentices and university students with their early practical experiences, open-mindedness, discipline and determination.

The constructed vehicle should simulate the challenges for students and their abilities, compared to those of a professional engineer, relatively close to reality. The most difficult challenge for all participants is the ban on pneumatic wheels (i.e. no air cabins are allowed). Many ideas have been issued and tried out. Which one of those will meet the high requirements of the race course is yet to be seen on the 10th-12th of April.

The intensive preparations of the European participants in 2 multinational teams took up 9 months with 220 activities in 4 countries. Many of those interested failed on the required discipline and concentration on tasks. Especially the team work, the multilingual interaction, the achievement of the practical experiences and the economical tasks were inescapable focus points. These were supported by many entities and private people, since there are few public budgets for international high-tech-competitions.

For one week the participants already have been preparing themselves for the big day in the rocket city Huntsville. They grow together as a team through their work. You are invited to read the reports of the 13 to 20 year olds in three different languages.

moscowkostromaneftejuganskhuntsvilleLeipzigOver 80 teams with around 1000 participants are expected to come to the NASA Rover Challenge. The European teams carry a special media interest, as they unite people from various nations. An invitation to Washington where the NASA headquarters is located is on the plan. A team from the first Russian evening television program is expected. Never before, a 13-year old girl from Russia made it to a NASA-competition in the USA. Katarina Trsuheva of ‘Team Russia Highschool’ is the first. Her 18 year old front driver is from Siberia. The Russian team’s advisor is Evgeniy Zakutin, a aeronautics- and space-engineer from Moscow who currently lives in Leipzig.

Also from Leipzig is the newly introduced NASA-price: “Jesco von Puttkamer International Team Award”. It is given in two performance groups and will earn the participants $500 each.


Facebook page
Daily student reports
Picture Galary of the US-excursion
All activities of the competition in pictures

Participating students under the supervision of the International Space Education Institute:

-Tobias Meier, Mathilda Drews, Mario Denzler, Martin Hohlweg, Amanda Spencer (Team Germany College)
-Katharina Trusheva, Vadim Korsunov, Jonathan Holtmann, Matthew Spencer, Graig Steward (Team Russia Highschool)

Institutions represented by the participants:
-International School Leipzig, German School Washington, School Moscow Nr 422

Huntsville City Schools:
-University of Alabama in Birmingham, Moscow Aviation Institute, University of Minnesota, Handwerkskammer zu Leipzig

Main sponsors:
IGUS, Space Hotel Leipzig
Dreherei Guenter Jakob GmbH & Co.KG, Holl GmbH, Sattlerei Kübler, Doerffer Standstrahltechnik, Hauff-Haustechnik, Seilerei Voigt