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Course Description and Procedure
The Great Moonbuggy Race ® course winds around rockets and other space vehicles including a Saturn
Moon Rocket, an engineering test unit of the Space Shuttle with its external
fuel tank and solid rocket boosters and a model of the LEM (Lunar Excursion
Module). The total length of the course is about 7/10 of one mile and is
strewn with miscellaneous lunar-like obstacles distributed randomly over
the course. One of the interesting terrains on the course is a lunar crater
area in which the life-size replica of the LEM is located.
map presents the general course outline.
Moonbuggy Course Procedure
- The competition begins when the vehicle is inspected for the Pre-Condition requirements (fenders, diameter of high gain antenna, national or institution flag, TV Camera, batteries #1 and #2, Electronic Control Panel).
- After Pre-Condition Judging, the buggy will be weighed and tested for the 4'x4'x4' volume constraint. Then the two passengers will carry their moonbuggy in the collapsed (i.e., unassembled) condition a distance of 20 feet and set it at the starting line. The passengers are the only two individuals who may be involved in the carry and assembly procedures. Carry time is not included as a part of the assembly time.
- After the volume test, a signal will be given to the two passengers to assemble their vehicle and the clock is started. The clock is stopped when the vehicle is assembled, all tools and other assembly implements are placed in the designated area, and both team members are seated in the buggy with helmets on, seat belts attached, and feet on the pedals as if ready to race. No more work will be allowed on the buggy before the first run. If a vehicle cannot be disassembled, hence cannot be timed for assembly, then that team will be assessed the maximum assembly time determined from the group of all competing teams.
- After the buggy is assembled, the vehicle is inspected for safety, the 4' assembled width is checked as specified in construction requirement #5, and the 15" clearance test is conducted as specified in construction requirement #8.
- The passengers will receive a signal to start the race, at which time the clock for that team is started. The team has to traverse the entire course. The event clock stops when the vehicle containing the two crewmembers crosses the finish line.
- A team will receive a time penalty if the team is not able to traverse the obstacle in question. All obstacles must be attempted.
- Each time either crewmember touches the ground or other course items such as ropes or railings, a time penalty will be added to the total clock time for the event. Only one “touch” penalty will be assessed per obstacle and an obstacle formally extends from half way to the previous obstacle to half way to the next obstacle. The first obstacle begins at the starting line and the last obstacle extends to the finish line.
- Individuals (team members and supporters) may NOT follow the moonbuggy around the race course during a run. We suggest teams post their members at locations along the course route, if desired. Course judges will have the authority to disqualify any team that violates this rule.
- Teams on the course after 6 minutes will be notified that they have 2 minutes left to finish the course. The objective of this notification is to give the racers the opportunity to push, drag, or carry their buggy in order to get it across the finish line before being removed from the course. A moonbuggy is subject to removal from the course by the race operators if it has not completed the course within the 8 minute time frame.
- Judges have authority to remove a disabled vehicle from the course when they feel it will affect the course time of the next successive buggy. The course run for the disabled buggy will end at this point. Failure to yield to the judge's request will result in disqualification of the buggy for the race.
- A final conditions test will be conducted at the end of each run to determine that all seven required items (fenders, national or school flag, simulated: 1st battery, 2nd battery, high gain antenna, radio and display console, tv camera) are still attached to the vehicle.
- Two runs of the course are permitted. The drivers for the first run must be those individuals who carry and assemble the buggy before the first run. Substitutes from the six member moonbuggy team may be made for either or both drivers for the second run of the course.
- Teams not able to make the first run or otherwise disqualified from the first run of the course can still make the second run of the course provided they have successfully completed the assembly judging.
- The order of teams called to race in the first run of the course will be determined by the previous year’s performance, fastest to slowest, for returning teams, followed by arbitrary order for new teams. Race order for returning institutions that raced more than one team in the previous year will be determined by that institution’s best team performance in the previous year.
- The order of teams called to race in the second run of the course will generally follow the fastest first run time to the slowest; however, teams not ready to run in that order can be skipped and called to run later without penalty. Teams skipped in that order and placed at the end of the run list will have only 5 minutes to respond to the official call to race when their turn comes up.
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Owner: Jeff Ehmen
"GREAT MOONBUGGY RACE ®is a registered trademark of the National Aeronautics and Space Administration"