SIU team competes in NASA competition

2012-04-12T01:00:00Z SIU team competes in NASA competitionBY SCOTT FITZGERALD, The Southern The Southern
April 12, 2012 1:00 am  • 

CARBONDALE — A yearlong project for SIU engineering students will be put to the test this weekend in Huntsville, Ala., the site of the 19th annual Great Moonbuggy Race at the U.S. Space & Rocket Center.

Nine students depart SIU today with Professor Tsuchin Philip Chu of the Department of Mechanical Engineering and Energy Processes with their recently built, human-propelled moonbuggy.

“We built the moonbuggy and will be in the time trial runs on Friday and Saturday. This competition is in honor of the original moonbuggy,” said Katie Damron-Stokes, an SIU moonbuggy veteran participating in her second competition.

The competition Damron-Stokes speaks of is not for the faint-hearted.

Two students provide power by pedaling. The goal is to drive through a half-mile-long course that simulates rugged moon terrain.

In addition to maneuvering through the outdoor obstacle course at the fastest time possible, teams also amass points during the assembly stage. Factors such as the moonbuggy’s weight and overall design are also in play.

Drivers, for example, must be seated at least 15 inches off the ground. And the moonbuggy must be designed to fold and fit in a 4-foot cube, according to NASA, which sponsors the race.

Damron-Stokes is one of five seniors on the team. She and senior Kaleb Hartman will pedal the 7 1/2-foot long vehicle, which weighs about 170 pounds, Friday.

Drivers for Saturday’s competition have not been selected yet, Damron-Stokes said.

This year’s SIU moonbuggy will have a video camera and a few other computer and electronic components designed by SIU senior team member Lisa Dohn.

In 2010, the SIU moonbuggy team placed sixth in a 30-team competition. In 2011, the team placed ninth. There will be 40 teams, including some from other countries, in this year’s competition.

The remaining SIU moonbuggy team members are Jonathan Beaven, Daniel Rogers, Caleb McGee, Nick Sager, Ryan Schmidt and Laura Bickers.

scott.fitzgerald@thesouthern.com

618-351-5076

Copyright 2015 The Southern. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

No Comments Posted.

Add Comment
You must Login to comment.

Click here to get an account it's free and quick

Jonesboro teachers' union creates scholarship for slain special ed teacher

Jonesboro teachers' union creates scholarship for slain special ed teacher

MARION – Calling teaching a “divine calling” for Jonesboro Elementary School special education teacher Amy Smith Blaise, the teachers’ union h… New

1 hour ago Photos

Photos

Related (0)
Review of Rauner's threatened closures takes time

Review of Rauner's threatened closures takes time

SPRINGFIELD — If Gov. Bruce Rauner wants to make good on his threat to close a prison work camp in Southern Illinois, state museums and up to … Updated: 12:31 am

8 hours ago Related (1)

Anonymous donor saves jobs at Benton Grade School

BENTON — Four teacher's aides laid off this spring from their Benton Grade School jobs will return to work next school year thanks to an influ… Updated: 11:35 pm

9 hours ago Related (0)
Rauner threatens to shutter prisons, toll road project

Rauner threatens to shutter prisons, toll road project

SPRINGFIELD -- Illinois Gov. Bruce Rauner said Tuesday he will close a prison work camp, shutter up to two juvenile detention centers and susp… Updated: 11:35 pm

9 hours ago(1)

Sparta man's death in mine still under investigation

A number of investigative units are looking into what caused the death of a 59-year-old Sparta man found inside a mine in Coulterville.

11 hours ago Related (0)
Southern Illinois sees shocking rise of Hepatitis C

Southern Illinois sees shocking rise of Hepatitis C

Cases of Hepatitis C — a blood borne virus that attacks the liver and is spread via shared drug needles, unsterile tattoos and other means — a…

14 hours ago(0)
Judge delays Hastert's arraignment in hush-money case

Judge delays Hastert's arraignment in hush-money case

CHICAGO — A federal judge on Tuesday delayed former U.S. House Speaker Dennis Hastert's first court appearance until next week following his i…

14 hours ago Related (0)

Illinois well services company moving offices to Indiana

VINCENNES, Ind. — A company that services oil and natural gas wells is moving its main office to southwestern Indiana from a nearby Illinois c…

14 hours ago Related (1)
Activate subscription button gif
Follow the Southern Illinoisan

Trending

Pinboard