In the Quest for Space program, students in TEECS’ CAMP (College Access Mentorship Program) with NASA Club designed an experiment to be launched to the International Space Station. This program is being carried out in collaboration with the Quest Institute for Space, an organization which allows students to design, implement, and analyze data from real-life experiments conducted in microgravity. This year, in particular, the focus of the experimental design is on heat transfer in 0-G environments. Running heat experiments in microgravity to find more efficient ways of dispersing heat on board the ISS not only helps solve current pressing issues but the process of brainstorming, implementing, testing, and drawing conclusions can relate to a life-time of inspiration for making a difference in our world.
The students built an apparatus that allowed them to test the heat efficiency of different materials in standard G (Earth surface-gravity), and their hypothesis is that the same experiment conducted in microgravity will yield the same results – that microgravity has no significant effect on radiation (how much energy can be stored in a material vs how slowly it’s released).
This experiment has implications for agriculture in space, as well as for the development of more efficient solar panels to be used as power sources in zero gravity, as the team explains in the video.
The team had to work very hard to get this done in time for the first launch of the year, so all of our hats should go off to them. Students successfully completed the project and sent their findings to Quest Institute to run it in the International Space Station.
The project will be launched into space on the SpaceX Falcon 9 CRS-14, which is now scheduled for April 2, 2018 out of Cape Canaveral, FL. TEECS’ students are looking forward to watch the launch first hand at the mission center.