And We're Off!

Good morning, everyone! After a long night of packing and final preparations on Centaurus, the team is finally ready to go! We are bringing 20 students on the race, all of whom will be tasked with keeping Centaurus running on the road.

For those of you unfamiliar with the event, the North American Solar Challenge is a 2400-mile race from Dallas, TX to Calgary, AB powered by nothing but the sun. Teams from 25 universities across North America and around the world design and build technological marvels to compete in this magnificent event. We will post more details on the race here later.

Our new website is finally 100% up and running! Please leave comments on these blog posts: it is extremely gratifying to know that there are people following us and cheering us on! We will be updating this blog on a daily (or more) basis throughout our trip, as well as uploading photos which can be viewed here.

We would like to thank all of our generous sponsors and all of the untold individuals who have contributed so much to this project over the last three years. WIthout your help, the Solar Vehicle Project would not be possible in the slightest.

As a 3-year member of the team who has been here since "the beginning" of Centaurus, I must say that it is nearly a surreal feeling that we are finally leaving for the race. Even though it seems like we have experienced countless delays and setbacks along the way, there was always more time to get things done. It sounds incredibly weird to hear someone say, "Tomorrow, when we're in Texas..." in reference to me and my colleagues. It has been an amazing journey thus far, and hopefully we will have many more memorable experiences to come.


Spending the Night in Tulsa, OK

After some early-morning difficulties with the configuration of the team's support vehicles, the trip down south was fairly uneventful; the team is spending the night in Tulsa, OK. Tomorrow we will press onto to Texas and check in with the NASC officials, as well as begin final preparations on Centaurus for scrutineering and qualifying.

--David Towey
Crew Chief

July 5, 2008



Wow. I was just checking out the other teams on the NASC website. (Hey, are you guys planning to go to the South African Solar Challenge? That would be too cool!)

Posted by: Jeanne LaMoore | July 6, 2008 5:15 PM

Hmmm. U of Michigan vs. Michigan State U. I knew they were different schools . . . and I wanted to make sure the solar car team had some laughter. Am I embarrassing you yet, Morgan? Have fun in Texas, y'all!

Posted by: Jeanne LaMoore | July 6, 2008 5:23 PM

Good luck with the race. Can't wait to see you guys drive past my business again this year. Go Solar Energy!

Posted by: Malcolm Van Ness | July 9, 2008 9:35 AM

Hey guys. Good luck! I hope nobody has been touching the array. Ryan should be taking care of that. Can't wait to see our baby win!

Posted by: Kyle Heuton | July 14, 2008 6:54 PM

Is anyone close to catching up on their sleep? It was so great to see you all in action on Thursday! I hope all goes well - with the car and with the team. Be well!

Posted by: Jeanne LaMoore | July 6, 2008 4:40 PM

Good Luck on the race!

By the way, Toyota reported recently that solar panels "... would be able to power part of the air-conditioning on high-end versions of the gasoline-electric Prius" and
"It's more of a symbolic gesture," said the source, who asked not to be identified. "It's very difficult to power much more than that with solar energy."

I am happy to see they are supporting your race however.

Check it out at


Posted by: Mike Shea | July 9, 2008 1:58 PM