Twenty-two teams of undergraduate and graduate students from throughout the country tested their robot designs in a "head-to-head" challenge at the U.S. Astronaut Hall of Fame, near NASA's Kennedy Space Center, Fla., May 27-28. Teams remotely controlled their excavators or "lunabots" to determine which one could collect the most simulated lunar regolith, or dirt, in a given time. The 1st place winning team was Montana State University, whose lunabot excavated 21.6 kilograms, or about 47 pounds, of dirt within 15 minutes, received a $5,000 scholarship provided by NASA's Exploration Systems Mission Directorate and an invitation to return to Kennedy to view a future launch.
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