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Micro-g Neutral Buoyancy Experiment Design Teams (Micro-g NExT) challenges undergraduate students to design, build, and test a tool or device that addresses an authentic, current space exploration challenge. The overall experience includes hands-on engineering design, test operations, and public outreach. Test operations are conducted in the simulated microgravity environment of the NASA Johnson Space Center Neutral Buoyancy Laboratory (NBL). Teams will propose design and prototyping of a tool or simulant identified by NASA engineers as necessary in space exploration missions. Professional NBL divers will test the tools and students will direct the divers from the Test Conductor Room of the NBL facility. Micro-g NExT provides a unique opportunity to contribute to NASA's missions. The 2022 Micro-g NExT challenges focus on the lunar extravehicular activities (EVA) operations aspect of the Artemis missions.

challenge Document

Challenge Descriptions

Checkout the details of the current challenges.
Updated 10/21/2021

Eligibility Requirements

Eligibility Requirements

See if you're eligible for the Micro-g NExT activity!
Updated 08/25/2021

Video and Proposal Guidelines

Video and Proposal Guidelines

Feel free to reference our guidelines to assist you.
Updated 08/25/2021

Apply Now

Apply Now

Submission period closed.
Updated 10/29/2021



Let us help you answer some of the most common questions you may have.
Updated 10/7/2021



Check out our information videos.

MICRO-G NEXT Eligibility

Participant Criteria

Each prospective team member must meet all the following requirements:
  • Enrolled as an undergraduate student enrolled in an accredited U.S. institution of higher learning (junior college, community college, college, university) at the time the proposal is submitted.
  • 16 or older before arrival in Houston.
  • U.S. citizen or legal permanent resident.
Additionally, each team must meet all the following requirements:
  • Supervising faculty member from an accredited U.S. institution of higher learning.
  • All primary team members must attend the orientation, preliminary design review, test readiness review, and prototype test week events.
  • Primary team members may only participate with one team in the same challenge.
  • Teams may not have more than two former Micro-g NExT team members per team.
Other Considerations:
  • Teams can consist of multiple institutions collaborating in the same challenge.
  • Team make-up should include an interdisciplinary aspect of any academic study area.
  • Teams may receive support from university students of any level, faculty members, professional consultants etc., however only primary team members may participant in test week activities at NASA's Johnson Space Center.
  • If prototype testing is onsite only three primary team members will be allowed to travel to Johnson.
  • One proposal per team.

Micro-g NExT Key Dates

*Dates subject to change

  • timeline image 1
    August 2021
    Announce 2022 Opportunity
  • timeline image 2
    Info Session #1
    September 8, 2021 at 6 p.m. CDT
    Link to Session #1

    Info Session #2
    September 16, 2021 at 6 p.m. CDT
    Link to Session #2

    Info Session #3
    September 21, 2021 at 6 p.m. CDT
    Link to Session #3

    Info Session #4
    October 6, 2021 at 6 p.m. CDT
    Link to Session #4
  • timeline image 4
    Oct 12, 2021
    Letter of Intent Due

    Please email with the following information: School name, Potential team lead and member names, Potential faculty advisor name(s), and 2022 Micro-g NExT Challenge chosen.

  • timeline image 5
    Oct 28, 2021
    Proposals Due
  • timeline image 6
    December 2021
    Selection Announcement
  •  timeline image 6
    January 26 -27, 2022
    Preliminary Design Review
  •  timeline image 7
    April 2022
    Test Equipment Data Package (TEDP) Due
  •  timeline image 8
    May 2022
    Test Readiness Review (TRR) Due
  •  timeline image 9
    June 5-11, 2022
    2022 Anticipated Test Week


Check out our video library.

2022 selections

NASA's 2022 Micro-g NExT Challenge Selection Show

Neutral Buoyancy Lab Panoramic Tour Video

NBL260VR Tour

Astronaut Christina Koch

Astronaut Christina Koch: How can college students get involved with NASA?

2021 Micro-G Next Selection Show

2021 Micro-g NExT Selection Show:
"At Home" Edition

challenge 1

Challenge 1: Orion Crew Safety - Surface Autonomous Vehicle for Emergency Response (SAVER)

challenge 4

Challenge 4: Lunar Surface Operations - Lunar Sample Coring Device


Students Supporting Spacewalks

student spacewalk

In just over a year, a Micro-g NExT student inspired tool has gone from student hands in Houston to the AMS spacewalk outside the ISS.


NASA Astronaut Tracy Caldwell Dyson invites undergraduate students to take part in Micro-g NExT. Micro-g NExT challenges student teams to design, build, and test a tool or device that addresses an authentic, current space exploration challenge.


Get an up-close look at the Neutral Buoyancy Laboratory (NBL), hear from university students participating in NASA's #MicrogNEXT who have built tool prototypes designed for crew members to use in space, and even see NASA divers testing the tool prototypes in the pool!