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NASA Moonbuggy Race - NASA Moonbuggy Race 2012

Written by: Ralf Heckel
Translated by: Nadin Rößler, Mirandah Rider

Huntsville, the 14th of April 2012

team germany 1

Team Germany 1
Race number 8, Moonbuggy “Ganymed”
Max Frank and Viktoria Lagemann

- International Team Award

The data: Race time: 3:38 minutes, assembly-time: 40 seconds, one successful run
The award (donated by NASA-headquarter) was given for the pioneer work of that team and its supporters, to motivate, to look after and to train international teams for 6 years as well as to bring 3 other teams to Huntsville this year.

team 2 germany

Team Germany 2
Race number 9, Moonbuggy “Calypso”,
Tobias Meier and Michaela Ebert

- 13th place of 44

The data: Race time: 4:38 minutes, assembly-time: 16 seconds, 2 successful runs
Great performance as newcomers! Unfortunately it was not enough for the Rookie-Award and neither for the Telemetry-Award, that the Judge would have gladly given (the written application was missed)

team russia

Team Russia
Race number 10, Moonbuggy “Lunochod 3”
Roman Tarasov and Marina Tereshkova

- 4th place (only 1 second distance to the 3rd place)
- Telemetry Award
- Best Design Award

The data: Race time? assembly-time: 9 seconds, one successful run
Telemetry-Award (worth of 500 dollars): for a constant processing of the recorded data from the last years and their incorporating in the actual construction by CAD-CAM, using of several on-board cameras for the analysis of different assemblies.
Best Design Award (worth of 1000 dollars): for an excellent written, practical and oral engineering performance, for the workup of an evolutionary construction that is used as an internship project for engineering students

team italy

Team Italy/ India:
Race number: 11, Moonbuggy “Titanium”

Simon Galetti and Laura Martin (1st race)
Sahib Singh and Harshmeet Kaur (2nd race)

- 23rd place of 44
- Invitation to show their Moonbuggy constantly in the US Space & Rocket Center

The data: race-time: 9:26 minutes, best assembly-time of our teams with 8 seconds, Team Italy could absolve 50% of the race successful and had to move it then because of an axle break, Team India absolved the 2nd race slowly but successful; 2 out of 10 Indian teams reached the final, the ISEI-Moonbuggy “Titanium” the number 1 of them, there will be an intern “Best India Team Award” from the ISEI. Team Italy on the same buggy will get the “Best Assembly Time Award”.

The Invitation of the NASA-Center

Huntsville, the 15th April 2012 by Ralf Heckel


Tiredness comes out. The effort calls toll. During the Award-Ceremony under the gigantic moon rocket “Saturn V” after the 2nd race in the low and blinding sun, it’s very difficult for the members to keep the eyes open. Highly paid speakers have good speeches but the understanding of the English language is exhausting.

Today, the administrator of the NASA was there, Charles Bolden. He personally wishes good luck for the teams, for the rookies Tobias and Michaela, too. Thereupon everything went well. All our teams absolved the race without injuries and reached the final. The Huntsville Times titles with a photo of our colorful multinational team. All the buggies are in good technical condition after the race but nevertheless dusty. All the pilots are exhausted, but alive and well. Just one viewer is injured. One Venetian team member stumbled in cause of his enthusiasm and fell. He had to get a bandage for his knee, graze.

imgOne astronaut is speaking while all the ISEI-members wake up in the Davidson Center. He praises the multinational work of the ISEI for which borders are no obstacles and which pulls together undeterred by all the resistors for the future with young people for building a Moonbuggy. He said: “That’s how we imagine our future and that’s just how it can work. You do a great job. You enriched the work of the NASA”. During that he points to the German-Russian-Indian-Italian Moonbuggy which stands orange next to him. Yesterday, the team baptized it on TV-camera with the name “Titanium” (after a moon in the Saturn-System). Today, it’s the only one of 88 Moonbuggies that is allowed to stand in the exhibition hall next to the real Apollo-Moonrover and all the exhibits of 50 years space history.

imgThen, the director of the Space & Rocket Center comes to the desk and explains, that they decided to build a constant Moonbuggy course in the space center, for giving the teams the chance to train the whole year and to improve their Moonbuggies. She heard from a headmaster that the level is now so high that it’s nearly impossible for newcomers to get connected. They are now looking for the right solutions for integration.

img2To motivate the hundred thousand guests of the center and more students, they need a Moonbuggy In their constant exhibition. It should inspire. The Moonbuggy Race belongs already to the history of the US-Space with his 19 years history, that’s why it’s high time to show some Moonbuggies. The surprise follows directly. She asks the teams of the presented multinational Moonbuggy from Leipzig to provide it lent for the exhibition for one year. “This Moonbuggy inspired all of us most these days. It personifies all our values with all its teams and the philosophy behind. We are very proud of that.” The cheers and applause is big for such an honor. All the people whole hall stand up and applause. Everyone notes the flushing of the team members of the ISEI.

Now, it’s time for the naked truth. The Awards and the teams will be called now. There are a lot of teams. Especially, the Arabs from the united emirates are very noticeable. They are new at the Moonbuggy race and wear their special “Space Suit”. The men have white vestments like a sheik. The women wear the same in black. They get two awards.


Then the words “International Space Education Institute” fall. Cosma jumps up firstly and runs to the front to get her price. Then follows team Russia. We are called two times more. At the end, team Russia has two high-graded awards and the first German team gets one, too. The others don’t do have nothing; they are richer in experience now.

The International Space Education Institute says goodbye in Huntsville then with a lot of new contacts to technology companies and the University of the Town.

The institute and its supporters invested in the last three weeks an amount of 20.000 euros for flights, overnights, rental bus, fuel, food and program for their goal. They students paid a daily rate of 18 Euros per day alone. Everything else was paid by sponsors and donors. In Huntsville, the ISEI did donation receipts with a value of 3800 Euros to goodhearted US-citizens that gladly supported the programs of the institution.

We thank all our sponsors, partners and donators for their support. Their logos will be placed for one year in the space exhibition of the US-Space & Rocket Center, now, in front of an audience of millions.

Photos (overview)

Photos for the press (usual fee rate by calling the specified source)

First videos from the race

Huntsville Times

WHNT, Channel 9 (TV in HD)

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