Deutsch (DE-CH-AT)English (United Kingdom)Russian (CIS)Italian - ItalyFrench (Fr)Español(Spanish Formal International)
<<  June 2023  >>
 Mo  Tu  We  Th  Fr  Sa  Su 
     1  2  3  4
  5  6  7  8  91011
External news
Events - Competitions

Leipzig’s cycling track hosts young engineering hot shots on August 19th

Leipzig/SEI, August 12th, 2011


The Moonbuggy might not be going to the Moon just yet, but it’s still simulating the challenges of a career at the cutting edge of industry, science and craft – not to mention enthusiasm, health and sports. Next weekend, 4 international Moonbuggy teams from Germany, Russia, India and France will be battling it out in Leipzig to compete for the cup of international NASA teams. Leipzig’s race track is the ideal venue for the recumbent bikes that are speeding up to 80km/h before the annual Children’s Night Race takes off from 6pm. But there’s more to it.


For 5 years the Leipzig-built Moonbuggy has been taking part in the eponymous NASA construction competition. It was the first non-US built vehicle and earned the winning team last year – this year, there were even two vehicles that finished 4th and 6th across the pond. At the same time, 48 Indian teams started at NASA, but none of them finished better than 17th. It’s the same for teams from universities and high schools in Russia, Canada, Romania, Hungary, Malaysia, France and others. So far, no other international educational establishment has been able to inspire and push their students as far as Leipzig’s International Space Education Institute e.V. did.

Sahil Sehgal (22) from New Delhi holds a Master in information technology and was quick to join the first International Summer School in Leipzig. ‘Quality instead of quantity’ was his motto while he spent time in a multidisciplinary team. Yevgeny Sakutin (22) hails from the Urals and finished his aerospace studies as the most distinguished student in his Moscow Aviation University. This summer is his 4th time in Leipzig, and he feels it’s natural to learn abroad and then pass his experience on to his Russian peers in industry and academia. Laurence Ponsot (19) studies engineering in Lyon. She wonders why a high tech nation such as France has not fared better in such an important youth competition, but points out: ‘In Leipzig I found a family you can reach anything with.’


All those international students – 25 by now – have only one goal: ‘To give our best at the first international championship in Leipzig’. But what makes Leipzig so attractive? Dr. Eberhard Rees, 2nd director of NASA’s Marshall Spaceflight Center during the 1970s, studied and worked in Leipzig as a young man. His boss in the Lindenau-based company Meyer & Weichelt, Dr. Curt Weichelt, founded the association of the friends of the commercial college and developed young talents during the 1920s. Today, Marshall Spaceflight Center in the rocket city of Huntsville Alabama is the host of the NASA Moonbuggy Race. Today’s SEI is the same kind of hotbed for talents as Weichelt’s brainchild was then.

Some of those that profit most from this international exposure are the regional German students. Tobias Meier (15) of Portitz high school, Eric Meinel (15) of Kant grammar school or Nadin Rößler of Chemnitz’s Goethe grammar have long crossed the boundaries to the international engineering world and are already on the way to the top. As successful cyclist, Max Frank (17) has found a new goal: ‘The Moonbuggy deserves to be turned into a sport and leisure activity’.

NASA MoonbuggyraceAm meisten profitieren davon die Leipziger und deutschen Schüler. Tobias Meier (15) aus der Mittelschule Portitz, Eric Meinel (15) aus dem Kantgymnasium oder Nadin Rößler aus dem Chemnitzer Goethegymnasium haben ihre Distanz zum internationalen Ingenieurwesen längst überwunden und mischen bereits ganz oben mit. Max Frank (17) hat als erfolgreicher Radsportler zu einem neuen Ziel gefunden: „Der Moonbuggy verdient es als Sport und in der Freizeit etabliert zu werden“.

Teem In the course of preparations for this NASA contest, a 400 strong task list has been developed into a complex project for vocational training. Students with ambitions for technical or science subjects can take up micro-projects that they enjoy and produce parts, software, electronics, handbooks or documentation for the Moonbuggy, guided by professional in-house and external engineers and advisors. They’re motivated to show their work in an international setting, and at the same time gain an understanding of what they’d like to do in the future. Many of them become more focused and organized in the process. Saxony’s Ministry for Culture has hence included work on the Moonbuggy in the framework of formal science projects at high school graduation level.

teemA balanced scoring system spurs the students on to achievement, creativity, construction savvy, sports and strategic thinking. Kick-off is at 6pm, and – Formula 1 style – the 4 vehicles will be racing the 1200m with 2 respective drivers on the pedals simultaneously. They start in a collapsed position. The on-site mobile mission control centre will be recording telemetry during the 3-4min races. Data analysis and translation of insights into new vehicles will take the best part of the coming months. Until then, however, the best Moonbuggy pilot will already have been crowned in Leipzig.

Big goals need a big arena – as they are our future. Our great thanks go to all participants, including the hosts of the Children’s Night Race and all regional companies who find their heart in this idea.

More information for students, pupils and parents:

Tel: +49 (0) 172 7949 375

Ralf Heckel, Chairman

Education - Summer school
Leipzig, 21.07.2011
Translated by Lea Mork

Summerscool 2011The first group of international aviation and aerospace students begins now the first summer school in Leipzig. The 17 students from Germany, France, Russia and India are preparing the European Championship in NASA Moonbuggy Race in the International Space Education Institute. 12 other participants from India are expected. The International Space Education Institute has, with its inventor workshops and the space hotel for the club's home of these young international rushed. The participants absolve many different courses from handiwork over engineering to programming. These courses are supported in the Community through collaboration much integrity and ethical values. So the Founders want to remember to the history of the space scientists in Leipzig since 1807.


Summerschool 2011This club leads in many disciplines of international competitions to career building society has become like many young explorers visited Address. The young participants create new moonbuggies for the NASA competition and test them out on the Rabet in the east of Leipzig and prepare the first international championship on 19 Moon Buggy August at the Alfred-Rosch-Kampfbahn. The ultimate goal of researchers is the design and construction of an electrically-powered rover for the Mars 500 project in Moscow and a small series production of the Saxon moonbuggies as hands-on environmental project for schools and vocational orientation and crafts. Practice, experience and multilingual use in various languages as well as learn about the different cultures and mentalities is a valuable byproduct for the participants during the summer teamwork in a relaxed atmosphere.


Summerschool 2011So the student get special experiences and get special knowledge. And this knowledge is paired with Leipzig handicraft and Saxon perseverance. This is very profitably for the highschool students of Leipzig. In the coming school year, a wide range of opportunities for internships will be available for this students.

The Leipzig Space Summer School is supported by the German Embassy in Moscow, Leipzig and handiwork, Bruno Banani, the Ministry of Culture and Sports of Saxony and a number of international scientists from USA, Germany, Russia and India. Only in passing the club also conveys the many requests for the landing of the Space Shuttle at NASA scientists have paved the way for the next generation.

Interested in age from 12-19 years are especially welcome and can register to a unit at:


Sumerschool 2011Participation is subject to diligence, precision, teamwork and integrity. The team is on Saturday morning to the public for questions and photos.

Date: 19. August 2011, 18 Uhr, International Moonbuggy Championchip, Alfred-Rosch-Kampfbahn, Leipzig

Members of the first group:

















































Neu Delhi





Neu Delhi






























Komi Rep.





Komi Rep.







User Rating: / 209
NASA Moonbuggy Race - NASA Moonbuggy Race 2011

Ralf Heckel, International Space Education Institute

If, in future, we want to settle the moon and the planets as we live in orbit right now, we’ll need to be willing to swap nationality against an ‘earth-citizenship’. Exploring space is the task of humanity as a whole. It may be pioneered by several nations at first, but at the end of the day we’ll all have to be prepared to work together smoothly to discover the new. Each captain needs a crew. Great achievements are therefore only possible in a team, with impeccable excellence and consideration for safety, above all. These are the core values of NASA and the house rules of ISS. And I love them – thank you, America!

Last year, 2010, we scored the best time in the Moonbuggy Race. For a long while afterwards we didn’t really realize what that meant. The success was such a surprise that each of our team was unprepared. Afterall, it’s only 1 second of a difference – not more, and not less. But it was pivotal. And the Moonbuggy by the team of Fajardo Vocational High School (PR) and ours couldn’t be more different. That single second showed that many ways lead to success. Thank you, Puerto Rico, fort his experience!


speedrecord speedrecord

An absolutely surprice was the speedrecord of our pilots. For a short time at the training in Huntsville, our buggy drove a speed of 50 mph (80 km/h). Thank you Stefan and Steffi for this great power.

We also believe that many of your noticed that, for the first time, a foreign team took the title. Was that a little Sputnik-style shock? Then again, why not? We never understood the Moonbuggy Race as one-off event, but as a never-ending journey. Still, we were conscious of having roused your enthusiasm. Many US team leaders thanked us, and that made us proud. We know that there is only one goal for each of you again: To be better. All of the team members from Germany are keeping this in mind – they have great respect for you.

Since our first international participation 5 years ago, it’s become increasingly vital for us also to inspire other nations for the Moonbuggy Race. The Moonbuggy has a great future if it goes multinational. Nothing is as self-evident as to do this in Russia, Europe’s strongest space nation. Our nations, US – Germany – Russia, have a common historic core. This is where space exploration began. German engineers were also working in Russia on the rockets for Sputnik and Gagarin – like the ‘Von Braun-Team’ in Huntsville. That’s why we drove ten thousands of kilometers through Russia with the students and their Moonbuggy. There were already two races in Russia and a number of talks. The word ‘Moonbuggy’ – or subtly adapted, ‘lunar buggy’ – is now part of the Russian vocabulary. Now we’re having a little break from the Russian roads, as they couldn’t be worse on the Moon. Man and machine did their best during this east-bound roadshow – they’re well prepared now!



It is therefore with great pleasure that I’m presenting two Russian teams in 2011, this special year. One team is driving under our support. Another team initially trained with us, but now want to be in competition. We’re really excited.



A big respect goes to the first team from Africa. 3 years long we supported a school on Kenya and showed them a Moonbuggy. 1200 students in Kilifi near Mombasa ware excited. But there is no electrical power, no water and no toilett and a very slow internet. First we built a restroom for all. So it is a great surprice to know a team from Ethopia at the Moonbuggy Race. Welcome Africa!



Why there is so much enthusiasm this year, I’d like to explain too. Just like in America, Russia celebrates 40 Years of the Lunar Rover. ‘Lunokhod 1’ was an automatic rover that landed on the Moon even a bit earlier than LRV. It took 20,000 photographs, 200 films and covered around 7 miles on the Moon. We visited Lunokhod with our Moonbuggy and we can bring along its chief designer and telemetry pilot. In addition to that, April 12th, only 10 days after the Moonbuggy Race 2011 will be a double anniversary again: That’s 30 years Space Shuttle and 50 years Gagarin’s flight. Both are firsts and ground-breaking achievements. They’re based on excellence, integrity and team spirit. I’m convinced this is what you’ll all be bringing to the race.


Give your best!





Russian Team TV:

German Team TV:
Moonbuggy preparations in photos:


translated by Regina Peldszus, space hability designerin, Kingston University London


User Rating: / 1
NASA Moonbuggy Race - NASA Moonbuggy Race 2010

A wave of sympathy from Germany met the aerospace students from Moscow, and might provide and stepping-stone for their future. The test-run of an integrated, free summer programme for future crafts and engineering finished today after 4 eventful weeks. Our expectations were exceeded across industry, crafts, business, education and aerospace.

Minister Tesch (Education), 2.9.2010, NeustrelitzMarina Tereshkova (20, IT student), Yan Kadirov (21, robotics student) und Yevgeny Sakutin (22, CAD specialist) of the Moscow Aviation Institute (MAI) left Russia amid the wildfires of August 2010 and headed to Leipzig. They followed a vision of cross-national cooperation of young high-performance teams to gain new vocational skills. The study and work plan during their semester break was oriented entirely on 4 simple core values of teamwork, integrity, excellence and safety. It comprised of a daily schedule from 6:30 am to midnight.

Marina and V2, 3.9.2010, PeenemündeAfter over 30 workshops and excursions through the different areas of German trade and engineering, it was clear to the Chamber of Crafts and the Freies Gymnasium Borsdorf (free highschool) that there was no better role-model for our youth than other ambitious and hardworking young people. A hint of internationality became the carrier for this vision, opened hearts and enticed the more mature generations to join in and pass on their know-how.

Thus, the up-and-coming engineers showed their skills during the Day of Vocational Orientation in Crafts, and there the Working Group Space Education was founded as an extracurricular project for schools. The group from Moscow was handpicked during 71 international projects in 4 years. Next year, for the 50th anniversary Yuri Gagarin’s flights, it’s their goal to represent Russia at the NASA Moonbuggy Race, a US young engineering competition, in cooperation with the Leipzig-based International Space Education Institute.

Moonbuggy Test, 9.9.2010, LeipzigNumerous companies in and around Leipzig opened their doors to the team under the current motto of the Chamber of Crafts “No Spaceflight Without Crafts”. Indeed, Leipzig can look back on 5 famous space engineers from ISS, Apollo and Sputnik times and earlier. This motivates the youth.

The workshop and additional expenses, including flights, were financed by the students – not through money, but ideas and participation. The newly opening Space Hotel Leipzig provided a junior suite to each of them and arranged a job for 1-2hrs a day. That covered all expenses. The potential of the exclusive group – who became a strong team in the past 4 weeks – will pave the way for setting up a number of student enterprises in crafts, engineering and business. ARD (the large German public broadcaster) documented the project for a day in the framework of the 20th anniversary “20 Years Fall of the Wall”.

Award-Zeremonie, 10.9.2010, HandwerkskammerOn Friday, 10th September 2010 it was space day, and Dr Schmidt of the Vocational and Technology Centre of the Chamber of Crafts awarded the students from Moscow their certificate for successfully completing welding exercises in three categories. Mr Heim of Commerzbank Leipzig handed on to space ambassador Yvonne Heckel the cashed NASA cheque for the German Moonbuggy world champion team 2010 worth 4,190.60 EUR. In addition to this, he presented the Moscow students with prize money of 200 EUR from this fund, as jump-start for their big goal at NASA.

The students from Moscow plan to further develop their skills at the German workshops in Leipzig during the winter in order to provide a secure base for self-financing their future study wishes through integration in the Russian economy. This is an exchange that works, since for the winter holidays, German students and apprentices are already eagerly waiting for their new role-models from Moscow.

Our counterpart of the journey will depart to Russia in October in time for the 20th anniversary of German Unification. The German embassy in Moscow supports this exchange with a simplified issuing process of student visa. Amongst other destinations, the German Moonbuggy will visit many schools, universities and sites of the Mars500 project between Moscow and Kiev.

The Winning Moonbuggy Team 2011 from Germany and the upcoming Russian Team
are the racehorces for the european pre-competition to the NASA Moonbuggy
Race at the Leipzig Bysicle Fair in November 2010. We are looking forward to
see this trailblazers on first places.

At April 12th in 2011:
- Germany celebrates 5 years international NASA Moonbuggy competition.
- Russia celebrates 50 years Gagarin´s flight
- USA celebrates 30 years Space Shuttle
- USA/Russia celebrates 40 years LRV1 / Lunockhod2


Who will make the future? This year will be the toughest competition since

On TV:
3. Oktober 2010, 21:00 GMT+1, ARD
and: Documentary Film Festival Leipzig, 13.-17. October 2010

Workshop Videos:


Workshop Reports (for now in Russian):

Special thanks are extended to the following organizations and people:
-         Chamber of Crafts Leipzig
-         Vocational and Technology Centre Borsdorf
-         Bruno Banani, Chemnitz
-         Fahrzeugbau Frank, Leipzig
-         DEKRA Leipzig
-         Turnery Günther Jakob, Holzhausen
-         Wittenbecher Maschinenbau, Leipzig
-         Space Hotel Leipzig
-         Solarwatt Dresden
-         Solarpark Grimma
-         Commerzbank Leipzig
-         Ball-Bearing Works Leipzig
-         LOOKS Film&TV Ltd., Leipzig
-         Ediniy Rossia, TV-Team of UFA
-         Mr Schmidt, PhD (BTZ-Borsdorf)
-         Ms Wolter, PhD (Handwerkskammer zu Leipzig)
-         Mr Mühlendorfer Voigt (HTI Peenemünde)
-         Mr Mett, PhD (DLR-Campus Neustrelitz)
-         Mr Reinhold (V2 rocketeer, 99 Jahre alt)
-         Ms Krylova (Cousin von Sputnik-Konstrukteur Korolev)
-         Ms Frank (Great cousin of Herrmann Oberth)
-         Ms Hackl (Direktorin Freies Gymnasium Borsdorf)
-         Mr Henri Schulz (Private Oberservatory Kletzen)
User Rating: / 155
MARS500 - General Mars500
Moscow, June 3rd 2010

Finally! Today's the day. The sun is shining over Moscow. The hatches close with a faintly smacking sound. Dozens of flash bulbs go off. The life support system boots up for the next 520 days. Six crew members get ready for entry into orbit before docking with the giant propulsion module with its even larger solar sails. The solid rocket boosters accelerate with a rumble. Slowly, the electric drives gear up with a stinging arc of light and accelerate the crew to 14km/sec, a speed never before reached by a human. It's on a course to Mars. And a daily routine begins for the next 240 days in microgravity, while home is shrinking into a small blue star in the rear window. Only three astronauts will be able to say the sentence that will mark the new millennium. Perhaps it's this one: "We are the first to step on Mars, and we won't be the last".

Bild1Finally! Today's the day. The sun is shining over Moscow. The hatches close with a faintly smacking sound. Dozens of flash bulbs go off. The life support system boots up for the next 520 days. Six crew members get ready for entry into orbit before docking with the giant propulsion module with its even larger solar sails. The solid rocket boosters accelerate with a rumble. Slowly, the electric drives gear up with a stinging arc of light and accelerate the crew to 14km/sec, a speed never before reached by a human. It's on a course to Mars. And a daily routine begins for the next 240 days in microgravity, while home is shrinking into a small blue star in the rear window. Only three astronauts will be able to say the sentence that will mark the new millennium. Perhaps it's this one: "We are the first to step on Mars, and we won't be the last".

I'd like to take the opportunity on this solemn day to tell of the breath-taking preparations of this experiment in the coming months. I am probably the only representative here to participate in this "flight to Mars" with partners from enterprise without a national stake.  The ticket was immensely dear. For many it is priceless and cost us 5 years worth of time, ideas, enthusiasm and vision.

This is why I'd like to extend my gratitude to Bruno Banani, spaceflight ambassador Yvonne, Prof. Evgeniy Demin (IMPB), Prof. Anatoly Zotov (MAI), Prof. Vladimir Malozemov (MAI) and last but not least also Prof. Dr. von Puttkamer (NASA) for their constant support. But also our visionary students since 2005 have contributed to this. In particular, I wish to thank Regina Peldszus (Doctoral Researcher Space Habitability Design, Kingston University London), Ivan Therekov (Engineer at Suchoi), Stefan Martini (Moonbuggy Pilot), Vanessa Gstettenbauer (Mission 3) and Thommy Knabe (Moonbuggy Chief Designer).


Five years ago, when I first entered the module at IMBP with German students and listened to the engineers, I would never have guessed that we'd play a part in the preparations for a human flight to Mars some day. Nevertheless we caught the bug: infected with curiosity and the insight that it's possible to constantly push your own boundaries. You only need the determination to do it.

Friedrich Zander

However, today I'd like to remember a man who gave his life for this dream. Friedrich Zander (1887-1933) was a German born Russian engineer and spaceflight pioneer who coined the term of the heading "Perechod na Mars". Sacrificing his health, he built the foundations that today form the basis of the Mars module: The support of life adoring interplanetary long duration missions. It was him who discussed feasibility issues with the godfather of spaceflight, Ziolkowsky. It was him who formed the first group of enthusiastic young engineers (GIRD) and aimed for Mars early on, together with Korolyov who later built Sputnik and Gagarin's rocket. He named his daughter Astra. Today, she is over 80 years old and lives to see the actualisation of this dream.


Today I presented the chief designer of the Mars-bound spacecraft with a photograph of my daughter Cosma who's standing in front of the mighty Saturn V rocket in Davidson Center, Huntsville/Alabama. He'd like to place it in the spacecraft. May Cosma, who's three years old, live to know the dreams of Astra, her father and all visionaries, and to maybe fulfil them some day.

Read more...

Jetzt Spenden! Das Spendenformular wird von bereit gestellt.
Google transl.