Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Awards for 50 Supporters and a Cheque for the Winners

written by Ralf Heckel
International Space Education Institute
translated by: Regina Peldszus BA MA
Kingston University London

Leipzig, May 8th, 2010

On Saturday night, May 8th, we celebrated a world champion. More than 60 invited guests, among them sponsors, supporters, family and instructors, joined the NASA Moonbuggy Team of the International Space Education Institute for the annual award ceremony. (press releases:

The Chamber of Trade shone with a lush buffet, put together by the food technology apprentices of the Vocational Technology Centre of the chamber. The apprentices had also produced the 50 awards to be presented that night.

A big surprise was the cheque of €2,000 presented to the International Space Education Institute by the owner of Frank-Fahrzeugbau Ltd. The gift was part of the prize money the company received recently as winners of the PUULitzer Prize. Sponsored by PUUL Ltd., the Chamber of Trade Leipzig, IHK Leipzig, Sparkasse Leizpig and ARGE Leipzig, the award honours "Exemplary Organisational Culture". A keg of beer was thrown in, too.,0,2096.html

Other companies joined Frank-Fahrzeugbau and assured their continuing support based on the achievements of the Moonbuggy Team. Thus, HinzTec presented us with an additional data module for modulating telemetry with the hint for additional Moonbuggies. Mr Hinz also pledged to support the furnishing of the Moonbuggy-trailer with a protective SMS security system.

Mr Ronny Hessel of the turnery Günter Jakob counted pennies of serial production costs of the Moonbuggy differential gear and said: "Since the students designed this themselves, since their drawings were accurate and the development was free, I can now batch-produce these high precision parts for only €250 a piece". He offered free production for the next five Moonbuggies. The serial drive is supposed to go into production immediately in order to give more than 100 interested Moonbuggy teams worldwide the opportunity to acquire and assemble them during an engineering workshop in Leipzig. These workshops will be lead by existing German team members in the framework of a management course.

Around 8pm all guests assembled in the conference room for a presentation of SEI director Ralf Heckel. The talk touched on recruiting in Russia, the team's preparations in Leipzig and the race in Huntsville. An introduction with an excerpt of the film "Magnificent Desolation", narrated by Tom Hanks, was received particularly well. Also the Moonbuggy Race films "Speedrecord", "NASA-TV" and "Russian Moonbuggy" were met with great applause.

At 9.30pm it was time for space education ambassador Yvonne to present the long awaited awards. More than 30 guests received the valuable stucco work that night. More awards will be presented at the ILA in Berlin and sent to Moscow and Huntsville.

A team of young journalists produced a news story.

Photo gallery:

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