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SELECTED TEAMS FOR THE 2014 PROGRAM  ( TOTAL: 35 )

 
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Fairport High School http://www.nasahunch.com/category/new-york/fairport-high-school/
Proposal ID: 2014-25513 Flight Week: 04/04/2014 - 04/12/2014
HUNCH - The effect of UV radiation dose on bioluminescent bacteria as a function of gravity.
HUNCH - Recently, the ISS has encountered metal-eating bacteria which are causing the hull of the station to decay. Astronauts are using UV radiation to remove this harmful bacteria; however, few studies on the efficacy of this method have been conducted. The proposed experiment will study the effects of altered gravity on the effectiveness of using UV radiation to eliminate bacteria colonies, using less harmful bioluminescent bacteria. A spectrometer we be used to measure the change in the luminosity of the bacteria colony after it has been exposed to UV radiation in 0G. The procedure will be repeated on another colony of the same bacteria during 2G. The luminescence of the bacteria being used will be linked to the production of ATP; therefore, by considering bacteria no longer producing ATP to be dead, measuring the luminescence of the bacteria will show the survival rate of the bacteria when exposed to UV radiation. An outside agent may be necessary to trigger the luminescence initially depending upon the bacteria chosen for the experiment. UV radiation is currently employed by ISS personnel to destroy bacteria on the hull. The proposed experiment will determine to more effectively destroy the bacteria. We’re trying to see if gravity influences the effect of UV radiation dose required to eradicate bacteria. Luminescence can be measured with a light sensor and visually. If the rate at which light intensity decreases changes we can see that rate of decay of the bacteria is affected by gravity.

Gadsden State Community College http://gscczerog.webs.com/
Proposal ID: 2014-25582 Flight Week: 06/13/2014 - 06/21/2014
Automated Microgravity Fluids Testing for Advanced Plant Habitat
The Advanced Plant Habitat (APH) is a quad deck locker payload that will become a permanent facility aboard the International Space Station in the US Laboratory. APH is scheduled to launch in 2017 with the purpose of housing very high fidelity experiments that will examine the fundamental principles of plant growth in a microgravity environment. For these experiments to be high fidelity, every aspect of the science will be monitored and controlled. The environmental growth chamber within APH will house two critical subsystems for controlling the plant’s environment. These two subsystems, the science carrier and humidity control unit (HCU) were designated as high risk by the ISS program office due to the difficulty for maintaining a proper fluid control system at microgravity conditions. In the previous MUREP experiment flown in November 2013, we flew these two subsystems to develop a basic understanding of the operations and capability of the new designs. The data obtained from our successful flight was presented to NASA Headquarters and the ISS program office, and both offices have agreed to fund the development of a second round of testing. In this round, we propose to test the two subsystems again with an automated approach. In the previous testing, students manually operated the test equipment switching the test on and off at their discretion. This procedure led to operational inconsistencies; therefore, this project will automate the water delivery system to actively deliver water through the subsystems as they would operate aboard ISS.

Governor's School for Science and Technology - New Horizons http://www.nasahunch.com/lone-star-college-2/
Proposal ID: 2014-25514 Flight Week: 04/04/2014 - 04/12/2014
HUNCH - Artificial Photosynthesis in Microgravity
HUNCH - The International Space Station (ISS) needs a more efficient way to supply oxygen for astronauts. Currently, the space station relies heavily on shipments of oxygen from Earth. However, this system has many flaws as it requires the astronauts essentially to ration their air. For many labor intensive tasks, such as repairing equipment or exercising, oxygen conservation adds unnecessary complexity and constraints. Also astronauts have complained about headaches and fatigue during group activities, when they produced too much carbon dioxide in a limited space. The need for a system to produce breathable air is important also for future long-term space explorations. Green plants in a natural process could supply oxygen. However, this approach entails the astronauts to tend to the plants and risks introducing additional microbes to the ISS or other planets. Artificial photosynthesis, an oxygen-producing chemical process that replicates the natural photosynthesis of plants, can provide a better solution. Artificial photosynthesis has been demonstrated in laboratory settings using a variety of designs and several different catalysts. The challenge will be to select, design and build a container to house the system, and monitor the performance in microgravity.

Governor's School for Science and Technology - New Horizons http://www.nasahunch.com/lone-star-college-2/
Proposal ID: 2014-25520 Flight Week: 04/04/2014 - 04/12/2014
HUNCH - Various Cleaning Methods in a Labor Saving Dust Collector
HUNCH - Maintaining cleanliness aboard spacecraft is difficult for astronauts. Dust accumulates in difficult to access areas of the craft. A “Clean Bot” will serve as a labor and time saving dust collector for these difficult areas. The “Clean Bot” is intended to move freely along walls and surfaces. Semi-autonomous and manual remote-control methods will be tested. The Clean-Bot’s ability to conform to the shape of uneven surfaces, and various cleaning methods will be tested. International Space Station dust will be simulated. The effectiveness of control and cleaning methods will be determined by measuring the amount and proportion of dust collected. Each control and cleaning method will be tested in Earth gravity conditions to determine which combination promises to be most effective on the ISS. The most effective system will then be tested in microgravity conditions.

HUNCH East Troy High School http://sites.google.com/site/ethshunch2014
Proposal ID: 2014-25526 Flight Week: 04/04/2014 - 04/12/2014
Spacial Proximity Identification Device for Environmental Reading (SPIDER)
HUNCH As the brave men and women of the Earth continue to explore the great mystery known as space they have a simple problem, keeping track of their tools. Our task, develop a tracking system to help track and find lost tools. Through the use of Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) tags and the provided micro controller, we believe can accomplish this task. RFID tags can be attached to specific objects and tools due to their small presence. The RFID tags can then be tracked by an RFID reader attached to the microcontroller. Based on distance, the data the RFID reader receives is then sent to the microcontroller; in turn the controller will activate a motor and led lights to alert the astronaut that an object is drifting away. Testing this system in the microgravity environment in which so many tools are lost is crucial. As ambitious as our project is we hope for it to one day help astronauts in their pioneering of the next final frontier.

Jackson Hole High School http://www.nasahunch.com/category/wyoming/jackson-hole/
Proposal ID: 2014-25519 Flight Week: 04/04/2014 - 04/12/2014
Three Dimensional Magnetic Modeling with Ferrofluid
On the International Space Station, or command modules, if a crucial part were to break it would be very difficult to repair. A 3D printer would require too much time (anywhere from 15 minutes to a few days), it would require too much space to keep replacement parts aboard, and delivery from Earth to the ISS could take too much time and be costly. Currently, there is no process to safely manufacture new parts onboard quickly. Our team is looking at a possible solution to this by creating a new way to make parts by furthering the research acquired during “Three Dimensional Magnetic Modeling with Ferrofluid” (Jackson Hole High School HUNCH 2012-2013). They successfully manufactured a washer in a zero gravity environment using ferrowax and a washer shaped magnet. We plan to expand on their experiment by implementing a magnetic array to create different shapes, try mixing other materials, and get all this to happen in under a minute. Our project would also be small enough to put on other space stations and vehicles other than just the ISS to be used for many different purposes. Our magnetically modeled part would be a quick solution, even if it’s just temporary, to help solve problems faced by astronauts onboard the ISS and other, more compact, space vehicles.

Lakewood High School https://sites.google.com/a/jeffcoschools.us/the-hydrofuge-project/
Proposal ID: 2014-25518 Flight Week: 04/04/2014 - 04/12/2014
HUNCH - The Hydrofuge Personal Plant Chamber
HUNCH - The experiment is being flown as part of the High School Students United with NASA to Create Hardware (HUNCH) program. It was designed by the students from the Sustainable Energy/ Living class at Lakewood High School in Lakewood, Colorado. This project provides the astronauts aboard the ISS access to fresh food. The plants will be watered through a teardrop shaped hydrofuge system. In the Omega system, the plant chamber will be flooded with water by a pump. Then, after the roots have had adequate access to the water, the excess water will be removed via the pump. This excess water will then gravitate towards the smallest angle, in the bottom of the tear drop, due to surface tension and polarity. As the pump is draining the chamber, the plant will be spun to shake off water that remained on the roots. If the water sticks to the roots of the plant, the roots will rot and the plant will die. The students will observe watering systems, water removal, spinning of the centrifuge design, and efficiency of the tear drop shape.

North Carolina School of Science and Mathematics http://270 spider web lane
Proposal ID: 2014-25521 Flight Week: 04/04/2014 - 04/12/2014
HUNCH - Peristaltic Pump
HUNCH- North Carolina School of Science and Mathematics

Northwestern University http://www.nustars.org/educationoutreach/
Proposal ID: 2014-25569 Flight Week: 04/04/2014 - 04/12/2014
The Effect of Microgravity on Actin's Critical Concentration In Vitro
Functional mechanoreceptor signal transduction is critical for the development and homeostasis of every cell in the human body (Thompson et al.)—especially for the maintenance of healthy bone tissue (Kular et al.). Signal transduction can be inhibited with a break in the mechanical pathway, and can cause cells to present with altered gene expression (J. Rubin et al.; Kim et al.). Breaks in the pathway have been shown to occur in the actin cytoskeleton after experiencing a mere 20 seconds in microgravity (Ulbrich et al.), which demonstrates a major health issue for astronauts on the ISS and in long-duration missions. Building a complete understanding of the actin cytoskeleton and its dynamic assembly is, therefore, of utmost importance to the space community. Previous studies of the actin cytoskeleton have consisted of macroscopic analysis and the deciphering of protein-protein interactions within different types of cells (Ingber, "Cellular"; Hall; Hughes-Fulford; Falzone et al.). However, there are very few, if any, studies that have specifically examined the dynamics and parameters of actin’s critical concentration and filament assembly in a microgravity environment. A study of microtubule cytoskeleton in microgravity suggests irregular diffusion for tubulin monomers in vivo (Vassy et al.)—a possible cause for actin cytoskeleton disruption as well. In fact, when the pH of actin cytoskeleton environment changes to create stronger electrostatic repulsion between G-actin monomers on Earth, microfilament assembly is inhibited (Crevenna et al.). This simulates one possible scenario of how actin assembly is affected by electrostatic forces in the absence of gravity. Thus, it is quite possible that microgravity-altered reaction-diffusion is hindering actin’s self-assembly (Hughes-Fulford). The goal of this experiment is to determine if the non-physiological environment of microgravity alters actin’s critical concentration through the analysis of filament elongation rates.

Overland High School http://www.nasahunch.com
Proposal ID: 2014-25515 Flight Week: 04/04/2014 - 04/12/2014
HUNCH-The Effects of Container Shape and Surface Tension on Crystallization in the Microgravity Environment
HUNCH-Understanding crystal growth is important because the microgravity environment is known to affect both the size and quality of the crystal formed. Better crystals mean a more precise structure of the molecule can be determined. This is critical to understanding the biological binding sites of drug targets and the development of new pharmaceutical products. As a result, the ISS has been used extensively to grow some of the best bio-molecular crystals ever. It is well known that surface tension is a dominant force acting upon liquids in microgravity and containers shape therefore plays a large role on the position of the liquid inside a container. However, to the best of our knowledge, no one has yet studied the effects of container shape and surface tension on the crystallization process in microgravity. Using solid works software and a 3-D printer we will design and create a number of containers with a variety of internal shapes but identical volumes. Each container will be filled with an identical volume of a saturated sodium acetate solution which will be nucleated and allowed to crystalize during the microgravity portion of the flight. The crystals will then be preserved and their average size and purity compared to the control group grown in a 1-G environment.

 
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