UNL student team tests device at Johnson Space Center

UNL student team tests device at Johnson Space Center

Calendar Icon Jun 15, 2016          RSS Feed RSS

Student engineers from UNL's Air and Space Research (ASR) test a gap spanner in the Neutral Buoyancy Laboratory at the Johnson Space Center in Houston, Texas, in early June. The device was designed as part of the NASA Micro-g NExT Challenge.
Student engineers from UNL's Air and Space Research (ASR) test a gap spanner in the Neutral Buoyancy Laboratory at the Johnson Space Center in Houston, Texas, in early June. The device was designed as part of the NASA Micro-g NExT Challenge.

A team of UNL undergraduate engineering students participated in NASA’s Micro-g NExT program recently at Johnson Space Center in Houston, Texas, during the first week of June.

The team was tasked with designing a gap-spanner boom to connect the Orion space vehicle with the Asteroid Retrieval Vehicle, allowing astronauts to traverse between the two and obtain asteroid samples for further study.

The UNL students built a prototype that was tested in the giant pool at the Neutral Buoyancy Laboratory at Johnson Space Center.

Under the supervision of Carl Nelson, professor of mechanical and materials engineering, the team formed two groups to work on projects featured in the Micro-g NExT Program, which challenges undergraduate students to design, build, and present a project based on current obstacles in space exploration, while teaching students the importance of teamwork, communication, and problem solving in the engineering design process.