School competing in Moon Buggy race
by Rachel Davis
Apr 26, 2013 | 1665 views | 0 0 comments | 12 12 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Jessica Blain and Jake Pasco train for the upcoming moonbuggy competition. The city of Sumiton set up an obstacle course at the former Bevill State baseball/softball fields for the teams to practice. Daily Mountain Eagle - Rachel Davis
Jessica Blain and Jake Pasco train for the upcoming moonbuggy competition. The city of Sumiton set up an obstacle course at the former Bevill State baseball/softball fields for the teams to practice. Daily Mountain Eagle - Rachel Davis
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SUMITON — Bevill State Community College’s moonbuggy teams will be competing today and Saturday in the 20th Annual NASA International Great Moonbuggy Race at the Marshall Space Flight Center in Huntsville.

The race involves maneuvering a two-person buggy around a half-mile course that is designed to simulate the surface of the moon.

The drivers, one male and one female, are required to carry the buggy 20 feet. The buggy must also be folded and fit inside a 4’x4’x4’ box. This means the design has to be light enough to be carried, but rugged enough to survive the obstacle course.

The competition requires engineering knowledge and creativity, but also teamwork.

Drafting Design Engineering instructor and sponsor Maurice Ingle said that the team spirit is also felt at the competition.

“When we go, we are going to represent Bevill State, of course, but we are also going to cheer for all the other teams,” Ingle said.

As they have the last three years, Bevill is entering two teams in this year’s race. One of the new buggies features larger rear tires that the students hope will provide more traction.

The other new buggy was expected to also debut at the competition, but, as of press time Thursday, a few kinks in the buggy made its participation unsure.

If the second buggy is not competition ready by this morning, the students will race using the buggy that placed fourth last year. The current team has made alterations and improvements on the buggy since that competition.

Last year, 44 teams competed for the prize, although only seven teams completed the course the first time and only five of those were able to complete it both days.

The competition teams will be Jennifer Thomas and Andrew Quiroga and Jacob Pasco and Jessica Blain. Karley Lamb, Blake Cain, Ethan Willis, Mike Sproul and Jay Wolfe are also part of the building team that will travel to the competition.

The event begins at 7 a.m. today and will be live-streaming on the Internet at www.ustream.tv/channel/nasa-msfc or www.nasa.gov/multimedia/nasatv/index.html.