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Take a Ride on the Engineering Side

Mountain bikes are great, but would one work on the face of the MoonNASA engineers and VCU’s School of Engineering students know better. The Moon’s rock-and-roll face is not a mountain trail. Special engineering skills are needed to design and build a vehicle humans can ride across the moon’s alien environment. 

Last year a VCU team’s “human-powered moonbuggy” won the Rookie Award for the best first-time entry in NASA’s annual Great Moonbuggy Race at the U.S. Space and Rocket Center in Alabama. This year, a new VCU team advanced their design for better handling characteristics and to prepare for the competion next year.

Watch the video to learn how the two teams researched, designed and built a Moonbuggy for the NASA race. See how they addressed some of the same engineering challenges overcome by NASA’s lunar rover development team as they built a sturdy, collapsible, light weight vehicle that can make it through a grueling half mile lunar obstacle course. Listen to why these college students want to encourage middle and high school students to join them and take a ride on the engineering side.

For More information go to NASA’s Great Moonbuggy Race

Registration material for 2013 (PDF Download)

Related Article: VCU Senior Design Expo 2012

Article by Dougald Blue, Contributing Writer

Discover more stories like this at Science Matters.