SWOSU Team Places 17th at Great Moonbuggy Race
A team of 11 Southwestern Oklahoma State University students studying engineering technology and computer science recently participated in the 20th annual Great Moonbuggy Race at the U.S. Space & Rocket Center in Huntsville (AL).
The SWOSU team finished 17th out of a field of 48 college teams, including squads from Russia, Germany, Italy, Canada and India.
This NASA sponsored event requires students to design a vehicle that addresses a series of engineering problems that were similar to problems faced by the original Moonbuggy team.
Each Moonbuggy was required to carry one male and one female participant who were responsible for providing the power to propel the buggy around a half-mile simulated lunar terrain course including craters, rocks, lava ridges, inclines and lunar soil. Each buggy must be contained within a four foot cube. It must be carried to the starting line and assembled before the drivers can mount the buggy and traverse the course.
The SWOSU team had a total time of 30 minutes and 48 seconds on the first run but improved their time to 11 minutes and 48 seconds on the second run. The time consists of the assembly time, course time and penalty time. Each time the drivers dismount from the buggy to pull it out of an obstacle, there is a two minute penalty.
The SWOSU student team members are: Amanda Adney, Clinton; Lindsay Dustin, Phillipsburg, KS; Tyler Dyck, Corn; Daltin Holland, Cordell; Rachel Hurt, Norman; Lacey Lamm, Sayre; Corey LaMoureaux, Westminster, CO; Jordan Sage, Binger; Alex Scarborough, Granite; Kelli Simon, Purcell; and Jennifer (JJ) Stout, Mooreland.
The team was sponsored by engineering technology faculty members Ric Baugher, Cindi Albrightson, Dick Kurtz and Frank White and computer science faculty member Madeline Baugher.
“I was amazed to see that passion of the teams that had worked so hard to design and develop the toughest, lightest, and fastest moon buggy,” Hurt said.
Simon said the team was challenged from the beginning with this moonbuggy, but having the chance to see the work go from concept to reality was an overwhelming experience.
“We made some huge accomplishments through all of this and I am humbled and so very proud to be a part of this team,” Simon said.
Stout was impressed to listen and talk with the Lunar Rover Pioneers who designed the original moon buggy, while Scarborough said the trip was a fantastic experience to interact with. engineering students from not only the United States but the entire world.