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.
Twenty-five university teams will move forward to Phase II of 2018 Micro-g NExT. The teams represent seventeen states. Six of the twenty-two institutions represented are new to the Micro-g NExT experience. One community college and four Minority Serving Institutions are among the institutions participating. Of the four design challenges posed, nine teams will engineer an EVA Ziptie Cutter, nine teams will engineer a Module Leak Repair System, three teams will engineer the Sharp Edge Detection and Removal Device, and four teams will engineer the Under Ice Sampling Device. Each of these devices has the potential to aid in a future spacewalk or exploration mission.
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!