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MTSU moon buggy team savors best in U.S. distincti...

MTSU moon buggy team savors best in U.S. distinction

Co-drivers Kevin Conner, front, and Devin Raines maneuver their Moonbuggy through the Marshall Space Flight Center obstacle course Friday during the 20th annual Great Moonbuggy Race in Huntsville, Ala. They piloted the vehicle to a 5-minute, 30-second run on the first day of the scheduled two-day event. (Submitted photo)

Co-drivers Kevin Conner, front, and Devin Raines maneuver their moon buggy through the Marshall Space Flight Center obstacle course Friday during the 20th annual Great Moonbuggy Race in Huntsville, Ala. They piloted the vehicle to a 5-minute, 30-second run on the first day of the scheduled two-day event. (Submitted photo)

The MTSU Engineering Technology Experimental Vehicles Program moon buggy team’s nine-month quest for success continues Friday and Saturday in Huntsville, Ala.

The nine-member team, led by captains Ryan Miller of Murfreesboro and Brian Julian of Spring Hill, Tenn., has two moon buggies competing in the 20th annual Great Moonbuggy Race on a course designed by officials at Marshall Space Flight Center.

A newly designed and built moon buggy finished Friday’s run with a time of 5 minutes, 30 seconds, said program adviser Dr. Saeed Foroudastan. Co-drivers were junior Devin Raines of Murfreesboro and senior Kevin Conner of Norman, Okla.

“Their time is excellent,” Foroudastan said. “The obstacles are much more difficult this year.”

“The judges and everybody have been impressed (with the new moon buggy),” Foroudastan added. “It’s the best-looking (moon buggy) and best design in the whole contest.” He added that it expects to receive a design award.

Foroudastan said the team plans on “making minor repairs” between now and the scheduled second run on Saturday, and believes they “can shave one-and-a-half minutes off (Friday’s) time.” NASA officials told teams severe weather could factor into the running of the event Saturday.

MTSU’s second entry did not finish its run. Drivers Sadie Swaney of Clarksville, Tenn., and Central Magnet School student Austin Tipton of Murfreesboro went past the 8-minute mark, exceeding the time limit allowed by judges.

Other MTSU team members include senior Joseph Honea of Tullahoma, Tenn., senior Mike Myers of Greeneville, Tenn., junior Steven Chaput of Manchester, Tenn., and junior Thomas Cox of Nashville.

As team members Brian Julian, left, and Devin Raines, right, listen, MTSU Experimental Vehicles Program adviser Dr. Saeed Foroudastan, second from right, explains the inner workings of the new Moonbuggy to Provost Brad Bartel and College of Basic and Applied Sciences Dean Bud Fischer April 25 just before the team headed to Huntsville, Ala., for the 20th annual Great Moonbuggy Race at NASA's Marshall Space Flight Center. (Photo by MTSU News and Media Relations)

As team members Brian Julian, left, and Devin Raines, right, listen, MTSU Experimental Vehicles Program adviser Dr. Saeed Foroudastan, second from right, explains the inner workings of the new moon buggy to Provost Brad Bartel and College of Basic and Applied Sciences Dean Bud Fischer April 25 just before the team headed to Huntsville, Ala., for the 20th annual Great Moonbuggy Race at NASA’s Marshall Space Flight Center. (Photos by MTSU News and Media Relations)

Provost Brad Bartel and College of Basic and Applied Sciences Dean Bud Fischer inspected the new moon buggy and the program’s Baha competition entry on April 25 just before the group left for Huntsville.

“I am impressed,” Bartel said. “This is amazing. … You guys are a winner in my book no matter the outcome.”

“It’s everything that education is all about,” Fischer said. “It’s transformational science, where it’s taken from the lab to being used.”

MTSU’s moon buggy teams have placed as high as fourth overall and earned two safety awards since entering the competition in 2003.

— Randy Weiler (Randy.Weiler@mtsu.edu)

Shown with adviser Dr. Saeed Foroudastan, left, MTSU Moonbuggy team members include (front row, from left) Devin Raines, Sadie Swaney and Kevin Conner; and (back row, from left) Ryan Miller, Joseph Honea, Brian Julian, Mike Myers, Steven Chaput and Thomas Cox. (Photo by MTSU News and Media Relations)

Shown with adviser Dr. Saeed Foroudastan, left, MTSU moon buggy team members include (front row, from left) Devin Raines, Sadie Swaney and Kevin Conner; and (back row, from left) Ryan Miller, Joseph Honea, Brian Julian, Mike Myers, Steven Chaput and Thomas Cox.

 

 

 


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