Student teams faced the same challenges confronting NASA engineers--to build compact, light and durable vehicles that had to be assembled on the go. Pittsburg State's team won a trophy, a trip to a space shuttle launch and a cash prize.
NASA hopes the race will inspire participants to pursue careers in math, science and engineering. It also hopes to keep the dream of human space exploration alive.
The team from the University of Evansville in Evansville, Ind., used the back-to-back method of racing across a lunar-like obstacle course on its way to second-place in the college division.
The team from the University of Puerto Rico of Humacao strained their way through moon dust to earn a third-place tie with the University of Tennessee in Knoxville, Tenn.
Navigating the half-mile race course is simple: Start at the Space Shuttle, take a right at the Saturn V rocket, circle the craters and return to the Shuttle.
Pana Senior High School from Pana, Ill., avoids pitfalls on a simulated lunar surface to finish third in the high school division.
The team from Erie High School in Erie, Kan., races to a second-place finish.
The moonbuggy race was inspired by the Lunar Roving Vehicles driven on the moon by astronauts on the Apollo 15, 16 and 17 missions.