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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 2020 Micro-g NExT challenges focus on aspects of the Artemis mission.

2020 congrats

challenge Document

Challenge Descriptions

Checkout the details of the current challenges.

Eligibility Requirements

Eligibility Requirements

See if you're eligible for the Micro-g NExT activity!

Proposal Guidelines

Proposal Guidelines

Feel free to reference our guidelines to assist you.

Apply Now

Apply Now

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Let us help you answer some of the most common questions you may have.



Check out our information videos.

MICRO-G NEXT Eligibility

Participant Criteria

  • Each prospective team member must be a full-time 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.
  • Team members must be 16 or older before arrival in Houston.
  • All participants MUST be U.S. Citizens.
  • All teams must have a supervising faculty member.
  • All primary team members MUST attend all test week events, including the Orientation and Test Readiness Review.
  • Primary team members may participate with one team only in the same challenge or test week.
  • Teams may enlist the support of students at any grade level, faculty members, professional consultants, etc. However, only primary team members may participate in the test week at JSC.

Phase 1

Key Dates

  • August 2019
    Announce Opportunity
  • Info Session #1
    August 19, 2019 at 6pm CT
    Link to Session #1

    Info Session #2
    August 29, 2019 at 6pm CT
    Link to Session #2

    Info Session #3
    September 10, 2019 at 6pm CT
    Link to Session #3

    Info Session #4
    September 26, 2019 at 6pm CT
    Link to Session #4
  • October 1, 2019
    Letter of Intent Due

    Please email with the following information: School name, Potential team lead and member names, Potential faculty advisor name(s), and 2020 Micro-g NExT Challenge chosen.

  • October 31, 2019
    Proposals Due
  • December 5, 2019
    Selection Announcement via Facebook Live
  • 2020 Remote Test Weeks
    Test Readiness Reviews:
    September 8-11, 2020
    Remote Testing:
    September 15-16, 2020


Check out our video library.

challenge 1

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

challenge 2

Challenge 2: Lunar Surface Operations - Dust Tolerant Pivot Mechanism

challenge 3

Challenge 3: Lunar Surface Operations - Dust Tolerant Loose Sample Device

challenge 4

Challenge 4: Lunar Surface Operations - Initial Sample Collection Device

challenge 5

Challenge 5: 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!