Student teams from around the country have partnered with NASA to test prototype tools for upcoming Artemis missions. This week, students remotely directed divers at the Neutral Buoyancy Lab to test their designs, which addressed a variety of NASA’s needs through the Micro-g NExT program.
This year’s testing was impacted significantly by the COVID-19 pandemic, delaying the test week from June to September. The student teams also did not control the tests from the Neutral Buoyancy Lab’s Test Conductor Room as usual, but rather remotely from mission control centers on their campuses. Despite these obstacles, and much like other NASA programs this year, the teams persevered and successfully tested several student designs with potential uses in the Artemis program.
The Micro-g NExT program is a NASA Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math (STEM) engagement program which challenges teams of undergraduate students to solve problems facing space missions. The teams are tasked with designing, building, and testing a system to support specific aspects of real NASA human spaceflight missions. This year’s challenges focus on the needs of upcoming Artemis missions to the lunar surface.
The testing phase of Micro-g NExT occurs at the Neutral Buoyancy Laboratory (NBL), the underwater training facility used ...