December 16, 2014 – NASA is offering undergraduate students an opportunity to participate in a new microgravity activity called Micro-g Neutral Buoyancy Experiment Design Teams (Micro-g NExT). The deadline for proposals is January 28, 2015.
Micro-g NExT challenges students to work in teams to design and build prototypes of spacewalking tools to be used by astronauts for spacewalk training in the Neutral Buoyancy Laboratory (NBL) at NASA’s Johnson Space Center in Houston.
Teams will be selected to participate in the experiential/hands-on learning portion and will travel to Houston to have their prototype tested in the simulated microgravity environment of the NBL— a 6.2 million gallon indoor pool where NASA astronauts perform complex training activities in advance of their assigned space missions. This project coincides with the 50th anniversary of NASA extravehicular activity.
Student selections will be announced February 2015. Micro-g NExT testing in the NBL will take place in summer 2015. Students must be U.S. citizens, full-time undergraduate students enrolled in an accredited U.S. institution of higher learning (junior college, community college or university) at the time the proposal is submitted and must be 16 or older before arrival in Houston.
Micro-g NExT is managed by Johnson’s Office of Education with support from the Human Exploration and Operations Mission Directorate (HEO). This a pilot project that encourages research and development in new technologies and engages students in real-world engineering and problem-solving concepts that may be needed on future exploration missions. Through innovative challenges such as this, NASA continues to demonstrate its commitment toward inspiring new generations of scientists, engineers and astronauts.
The activity also helps support the agency’s education policy of using NASA’s unique missions and programs to engage and encourage students to pursue science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) careers.
To learn more about Micro-g NExT, visit: https://microgravityuniversity.jsc.nasa.gov