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HUNTSVILLE, Al. — A team of students representing the University of Tennessee-Knoxville finished third in a weekend “moon buggy” race at the U.S. Space and Rocket Center here.

Officials said teams representing eight colleges and universities competed in the event, racing their versions of a “moon buggy” over a half-mile course of simulated lunar terrain.

The College of New Jersey, in Ewing, and Pittsburg State University, Pittsburg, Kan., finished first and second, respectively, in the competition.

The students’ machines were modeled after the NASA lunar roving vehicle used by astronauts to travel the Moon’s surface.

Also competing were the University of Evansville, Evansville, Ind.; Southern Illinois University, Carbondale; Arizona State University, Tempe; Auburn University, Auburn, Ala.; and the University of Puerto Rico, Humacao.

The New Jersey team’s finish earned its members a trip to NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida to view a space shuttle launch.