Moonbuggy Race 2011-2012
and Drive a Lunar Rover...The Carleton Moonbuggy Project in association with CuSEDS is participating in its 6th year in NASA's Great Moonbuggy Race. The race, featuring a wide array of teams from International locations will take place in April of 2012, at NASA's U.S. Space & Rocket Center in Huntsville, Alabama.
In this International and highly publicised competition, students are required to design a vehicle that addresses a series of engineering problems and challenges that are similar to the obstacles faced by the original Moonbuggy team working with the Apollo missions. Carleton University students with varied backgrounds in engineering, the arts, design, and other programs are encouraged to provide various knowledge and expertise in the planning, design, and implementation of the project.
The Moonbuggy we build is human powered and must carry two students (one female and one male) over a half-mile simulated lunar terrain course including rocks, craters, 'lava ridges,' inclines, and 'lunar soil'. Moonbuggy entries are expected to be of "proof-of-concept" and engineering test model nature, rather than fundamental production models. Each student team of six members is responsible for building their own buggy, and the course drivers, who are chosen from each team, must also have participated in the production of the buggy.
Before taking the vehicle to the track, the unassembled Moonbuggy entries must be carried to the course starting line, with the folded components contained in a volume of 4' x 4' x 4' (similar to that of the original Lunar Vehicle). At the starting line, the entries will be assembled and prepared for course testing and evaluated for safety. Assembly occurs one time prior to the first course run, and is not evaluated on the second run.
The top three winning teams in each division will be those having the shortest total times in assembling their rovers and completing the terrain course. Each team is permitted two runs of the terrain course, and the shortest course time will be added to the assembly time for the final total event time.
The Carleton Moonbuggy project is a rewarding way for engineers and non-engineers alike to participate and gain real-world experience in the designing and implementation of challenging projects, working as a team, and having fun.