Moonbuggy Rules and Penalties
- Each moonbuggy must be the work of a student team of a high school, or an accredited institution of higher learning.
- The school or institution may enter up to two (2) teams. A group of high schools may also work in collaboration toward building a moonbuggy entry.
- An education-promoting entity, such as a museum, science center, planetarium, or private company may also enter up to two moonbuggy teams in each division. International country and team limitations apply.
- High school teams are considered those teams predominantly comprised of students under age 19.
- College/University teams are considered those predominantly comprised of students age 19 and over.
- Each team, regardless of division, must be accompanied by an adult age 21 or over to serve as mentor and/or advisor.
- Propulsion System- must be human powered. Energy storage devices, such as springs, flywheels or others are not allowed.
- Collapsed Dimensions- Judging is conducted prior to each moonbuggy's first run on the course and only on the first day of the race. The collapsed vehicle must fit within a volume having a maximum dimension 4'x 4'x 4' (a cubical space that is 4 feet on a side). A frame of this dimension will be placed over the collapsed moonbuggy for verification. No contact with the buggy by the team is permitted while it is being measured. Tape, straps, or other devices can be used to hold the buggy together in the collapsed configuration; however, all such devices must be part of what is lifted and carried (see item 4 below). Any component not to be part of the buggy when racing must be left in the "tool area" before the assembly is considered to be complete. The "tool area" is a rectangular area marked with duct tape that is next to the assembly judging location
- Weight- the vehicle must be lifted and carried 20 feet by the two passengers, without aid of any sort (e.g., no wheels) in the unassembled 4'x 4'x 4' volume configuration. No ground contact of the unassembled (collapsed) buggy is permitted while it is being carried the required distance.
- Assembled Dimensions- the maximum width of the assembled vehicle, with race drivers onboard, is four (4) feet, measured at the outer surface of the wheels. There are no constraints for height and length of the assembled vehicle.
- Vehicles not constructed by the entering team are not acceptable. Vehicles that have been previously entered should contain major modifications that attempt to improve on design and performance. Students are expected to design, construct and test their own buggies, and the race drivers chosen for each team should also be involved in these activities.
- No constraints are imposed in the means of contact between the buggy and the simulated lunar surface. We encourage creativity and participants are free to use wheels, belts, treads, etc.
- All parts of the buggy, including the seat, steering controls, and pedals, with which the riders have normal contact must be designed such that their lowest surface must be at least 15" (38.1 cm) above the ground when the buggy is assembled on a level surface, and with riders onboard. The measurement of the pedals and steering controls is to be made when those parts are in the lowest position possible after assembly.
- The vehicle must have a turning radius of 15 feet or less.
- For safety reasons, it is recommended that the center of gravity of the "vehicle plus race drivers" be low enough to safely handle slopes of 30 degrees front-to-back and side-to-side. Any moonbuggy exhibiting handling characteristics or other vehicle dynamics that are deemed unsafe or unstable by the judges will be disqualified from the competition and not allowed to run the course. This determination will be made by inspection of the assembled vehicle prior to running the course. Moonbuggies that are judged to have become unsafe while racing can be disqualified from that race attempt and removed from the course.
- Each moonbuggy must have seat restraints for each of the two race drivers. The restraints must be worn at all times when the buggy is moving on the course. A moonbuggy can be stopped by a race official if either rider is not secured by a seat restraint and held stopped until the required restraint(s) are firmly in place, except when rider(s) are freeing their buggy from being stuck on an obstacle. The restraints must be capable of preventing the riders from being thrown from their seats should the buggy be forced to a sudden stop. The preferred method of restraint is a motor vehicle seat belt. If the pre-race safety judge determines the restraints are inadequate to perform that function, then the team will not be allowed to run the course in that unsafe condition.
- All sharp edges and protrusions must be eliminated (i.e., padded) or guarded as necessary to the satisfaction of the safety judge.
- The vehicle must be equipped with a simulated high gain antenna, fenders, a flag, and other simulated equipment as noted below. The high gain antenna must be approximately circular in shape and no less than 24 inches in diameter. The other simulated equipment required are a TV camera, two batteries and an electronic control panel (radio, display, buggy controls) that together total no less than 1 cubic foot of fully enclosed volume in one or more appropriately labeled boxes. Labels for the TV camera, two batteries and electronic control panel must be visible to inspectors. These equipment items can be functional, if desired, but must still meet the minimum total volume requirement. A fender (moon dust abatement device) must be placed over each wheel. The flag must be a national or institution flag and be visible from the front, the side, or the rear. The presence and size requirements for all components will be checked prior to each race attempt on the course. The presence of all components will be checked after successful completion of all race attempts on the course.
- Vehicles that do not satisfy the intent of the moonbuggy competition to foster creative student design, fabrication, and operation of moonbuggies on the simulated moonscape race course at the NASA Great Moonbuggy Race ® can be disqualified.
- Only vehicles registered for the competition will be allowed in the pit area.
- Vehicles must have functional brakes.
- Appropriate protective equipment, gear and clothing are required when engaged in construction activities, such as welding, handling metal components, and using tools.
- Moonbuggy drivers who are injured or bleeding can be disqualified from that race attempt and removed from the course.
- Race officials will continue to assign Moonbuggy team numbers on two printed 8.5 inch x 11 inch sheets of paper, along with clear plastic sheet-protectors in each team's race packet that can be affixed to their Moonbuggy. Teams have the option to design a method to affix the assigned number to their Moonbuggy. The method must allow the number to be displayed on the front and left side (port-side as for a boat) of the moonbuggy. The number display must use a font size that is at least 5.5 inches (14 cm) in height and 4 inches (10.2 cm) in width. Numbers must be black on a white background, easily readable, and conform to all safety requirements. However attached, the moonbuggy number is part of the vehicle and subject to all rules pertaining to the vehicle.
**Note that the "race order number" and the "assigned number" for a moonbuggy are the same, but will not be assigned until March.
- Moonbuggy Drivers - two (2) student team members (one female and one male) must propel the moonbuggy over the course.
- Eye protection (e.g., safety glasses, goggles, or face shield), head protection (a bicycle helmet), and appropriate clothing must be worn during operation of the moonbuggy vehicle. Shoes are required. Although at the discretion of adult drivers, adult supervisors, and parents of minors, it is recommended that clothing which provides protection against cuts and abrasion be worn (e.g., long sleeved and long torso shirts, long pants, and socks).
- No appendages, such as stilts, may be used on the feet of the moonbuggy drivers.
- Pushing the moonbuggy with a pole or other implement is not allowed. A driver's use of their hands on the wheels (as with a wheelchair) to rock or otherwise facilitate moving the moonbuggy is permitted. Only clipless style pedals require compatible and interlocking cleat-style shoes. Standard size pedals that include cleat-style clips do not have to be matched with cleat-style shoes for running the race. The feet of both riders must be on the pedals at the end of the timed assembly, but do not need to be engaged with any included restraints. Moonbuggy drivers are expected to be fully ready to race on the course, including helmets, full fingered gloves, goggles, and attached seatbelts to complete the timed assembly exercise. Injuries can occur in adjusting the chain while racing. Each team will be required to develop a "Signal System" between the two drivers to ensure hands are clear of the chain. They will be asked to describe their communication plan to the Marshall Safety Action Team (MSAT) member and/or the Starter prior to the race.
- Driving Moonbuggy in Parking Lot - Driving moonbuggies in the parking lot in a reckless or unsafe manner is not acceptable.
- The consumption of alcoholic beverages or controlled substances by any team member at any time during the event is strictly prohibited and is grounds for disqualification of the team.
Penalties may be incurred
for the following:
Pre-Condition (0:30 seconds each):
The total volume of Items #5-7 must be no less than 1 cubic foot.
- Dust Abatement (fenders)
- High Gain Antennae (must be greater than or equal to 24 inches)
- National or Institution Flag
- TV Camera
- Battery # 1
- Battery # 2
- Electronic Control Panel
Assembly (2:00 minutes each):
- Carry (weight) requirement to the assembly area
- Collapsed Configuration 4'x4'x4' volume requirement
- Assembled width (4') requirement
- 15" clearance requirement
Between Completed Assembly and Start Line (0:30 seconds for each violation)
- Any changes, deletions, additions, or adjustments made to a buggy's mechanical elements such as frame, hinge or coupling, suspension, wheels, brakes, or steering.
Final Condition (0:30 seconds each):
The moonbuggy must have the following items:
- Dust abatement (fenders), high gain antenna, national or institution flag, batteries #1 and #2, TV camera, electronic control panel
During the Race (1:00 minute each):
- Obstacle Fault: An obstacle fault results from a buggy leaving the course or avoiding the challenge of an obstacle. Only one obstacle fault can be assessed per obstacle. The race course between obstacles is also considered to be part of the closest obstacle structure. Specifically, an obstacle fault is assessed when
- a buggy enters an obstacle off the center line where one set of wheels are off the raised obstacle (or outside the sand pit),
- a buggy is intentionally steered off an obstacle to the side in order to get through the obstacle without getting out to push,
- a buggy is driven significantly off the course through or under the rope or into a barrier or cone, and
- a buggy pushed entirely through an obstacle.
The insignificant bumping of a barrier or cone is not considered an obstacle fault. A buggy thrown from an obstacle after entering along the center line is not considered to have committed an obstacle fault. A moonbuggy driver attempting the challenge of an obstacle by entering along the centerline, but getting caught on the obstacle and being forced to get out to push, is not considered to have committed an obstacle fault (see ground touch).
- Ground Touch: This penalty is defined as a driver using contact with the ground or other object external to the buggy to move the buggy. Only one "ground touch" can be assessed per obstacle. As described above, the course nearest an obstacle structure is considered part of that obstacle. Pulling on or pushing on a railing, a rope, or the ground are examples of ground touches. Getting out of the buggy to push it off an obstacle or through an obstacle is a ground touch. A buggy pushed entirely through an obstacle receives both an obstacle fault and a ground touch; meaning a penalty of 2 minutes on that single obstacle.
- Removal from the course: Moonbuggies having extreme difficulty completing the race are subject to removal from the course. 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.
- The vehicle must be equipped with a simulated high gain antenna, fenders, a flag and other simulated (or functional) equipment. The high gain antenna must be circular in shape and no less than 24 inches in diameter. The other simulated equipment required are a TV camera, two batteries and an electronic control panel (radio, display, buggy controls), together totaling no less than 1 cubic foot of fully enclosed volume in one or more appropriately labeled boxes. Labels for the TV camera, two batteries, and electronic control panel must be visible to inspectors. These equipment items can be functional, if desired, but must still meet the minimum total volume requirement. A fender (moon dust abatement device) must be placed over each wheel. The flag must be a national or institution flag and be visible from the front, the side, or the rear. The presence and size requirements for all components will be checked prior to each race attempt on the course. The presence of all components will be checked after successful completion of all race attempts on the course. - 0:30 seconds each.
- Riding moonbuggies in the parking lot in an unsafe or reckless manner is not acceptable.
- Passenger requirement (1 male, 1 female)
- Safety Disqualification (Judges' discretion)
The scoring decisions of the judges are considered to be final. Only in extraordinary circumstances can an appeal of a penalty be proposed. If the appeal process is chosen, the advisor/instructor or the team leader must submit the appeal of the penalty in writing to the Scorekeeping Lead in the scoring area within 30 minutes of the posting of the score in question. The final decision of the Race Director shall prevail.
Code of Conduct
Committee members who administer the planning and operation of the NASA Great Moonbuggy Race ® strive to conduct themselves in a professional manner. We ask the same from each of the participants. All faculty members, team members, team supporters, judges and officials are to conduct themselves responsibly, respectfully and in a safe manner throughout the NASA Great Moonbuggy Race ®. All participants must also conform to the laws of the State of Alabama and the United States of America. Anyone not doing so will be requested to leave the U. S. Space and Rocket Center grounds.
IS AN OFFICIAL NASA WEB PAGE
Owner: Jeff Ehmen
"GREAT MOONBUGGY RACE ®is a registered trademark of the National Aeronautics and Space Administration"