May 17, 2017

University students to evaluate designs in NASA’s astronaut training pool

Thirty-one student teams from across the country will test their designs in simulated microgravity this year as part of NASA’s Micro-g Neutral Buoyancy Experiment Design Teams (Micro-g NExT) activity. Test sessions will be May 22-27 and June 5-10.

Micro-g NExT challenges undergraduate research students to design, build and test a tool that addresses an authentic, current space exploration challenge. Students spent months designing and building their unique spacewalk tools, and will travel to Houston to put their prototypes to the test in NASA Johnson Space Center’s Neutral Buoyancy Laboratory (NBL) — a 6.2-million-gallon indoor pool used to simulate microgravity for NASA astronaut spacewalk training.

The Micro-g NExT experience includes hands-on engineering design, test operations and educational/public outreach. Professional divers will test the spacewalk tools as students direct them from the Test Conductor Room overlooking the NBL pool.

Schools participating during the May 22-27 test week are:
* University of Alabama Tuscaloosa in Tuscaloosa, Ala.
* Boise State University in Boise, Idaho
* Coastal Bend Community College in Beeville, Texas
* Grand Valley State University in Grand Rapids, Mich.
* Kapi’olani Community College in Honolulu
* University of Nebraska Lincoln in Lincoln, Nev.
* Ohio State University in Columbus, Ohio
* Onondaga Community College in Syracuse, N.Y.
* Purdue University in West Lafayette, Ind.
* Salt Lake City/University of Utah in Salt Lake City
* University of California Los Angeles in Los Angeles
* University of Texas El Paso in El Paso, Texas
Schools participating during the June 5-10 test week are:
* Arizona State University in Tempe, Ariz.
* Art Institute of Seattle in Seattle
* Columbia University in New York
* Cornell University in Ithaca, N.Y.
* Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University in Prescott, Ariz.
* Old Dominion University in Norfolk, Va.
* Rochester Institute of Technology in Rochester, N.Y.
* State University of New York Buffalo in Buffalo, N.Y.
* Texas A&M University in College Station, Texas
* University of Alaska Anchorage in Anchorage, Alaska
* University of Illinois Urbana/Champaign in Champaign, Ill.
* University of Maryland College Park in College Park, Md.
* University of Texas Dallas in Dallas
* University of Texas Rio Grande Valley in Mercedes, Texas
* Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University in Blacksburg, Va.
* Wentworth Institute of Technology in Boston

Stay up-to-date on social media using the hashtag #MicrogNExT. Dive deep into the Micro-g NExT program at Learn more about NASA’s education programs at

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