Lawton_Lawton's Cameron University students are "shooting for the moon," and they have designed a unique way to travel on the moon in style at the international competition in at the U.S. Space and Rocket Center in Huntsville, alabama. They built the buggy with a $7,000 grant from NASA, and some local support. Construction of the moon buggy has taken teamwork - and its first hurdle is the competiton itself.
While the buggy may appear to be a go-cart built for two, it's a true-to-life moon buggy, designed to drive over craters on the moon - with no fuel required. It's a pedal-powered vehicle. "One thing we learned on here is you can't use bicycle parts very often, just because of the amount of torque you're putting on the moon buggy with two people peddling it at the same time," said moonbuggy designer Aaron Cobb. He says they also had to plan the appropriate size for the vehicle. "It has to fit in a four-by-four box and be light enough for two people to carry it," he said.
Once the moonbuggy arrives in Huntsville, two students will drive it over a simulation of the moon's surface. "Your preliminary designs will not work in real life, and this gives us a chance to build it and see if our designs are what they should be when we go into the work force," said Cobb.
The buggy was built over the course of the semester, and Computing Technology Professor, Dr. Hermann Gruenwald, says that while the project was fun - it wasn't easy. "The students work harder in this class than they do in any other class - so it's a hands'-on experience," he said. "I worked probably 6 to 9 hours a week - at least," Cobb said.
The team of eight students, and Dr. Gruenwald, will depart early on Thursday morning, and plan to be back on Sunday after two days of competition. 135 teams from all over the world will compete with their moon buggies in Alabama, and Gruenwald says Cameron placed in the top ten the last time they competed.Count on 7News to let you know how they place.