The Center for the Advancement of Science in Space (CASIS) and Marvel Entertainment announced the two winning designs from the Guardians of the Galaxy Space Station Challenge, according to NASA.
Students had to submit a microgravity flight experiment that could be used on the International Space Station (ISS) US National Laboratory with one small twist; the design had to choose Team Rocket or Team Groot from Guardians of the Galaxy.
A Team Rocket submission had to have strong ties to technological innovation and engineering. If a student had a submission with Team Groot, it was based off fundamental biological concepts encompassing genetics and plant biology.
For Team Groot, Sarina Kopf’s research concept was chosen for aeroponic farming in microgravity. Kopf’s experiment explored different ways to water plants without gravity present. Aeroponic farming uses a misting device that delivers water to plant roots and has an air pump to keep excess water off the roots. Kopf’s experiment will test the misting device behavior in microgravity and see how it behaves in the absence of gravity when it leaves the nozzle head. This research will have vital implications for growing fruits and vegetables in microgravity and to the future of spaceflight.
Adia Bulawa’s submission to Team Rocket delved into tactics for staying healthy in space. Bulawa’s research will analyze the effectiveness of a dental glue activated by UV light in microgravity. The hope is to treat a broken tooth with dental glue, expose it to UV light and observe the reaction on the space station. When soldering occurs in microgravity, it can result in weaker bonds that form air bubbles, and the team is curious if the same will happen with the UV glue.
Both winners will work with DreamUp and Space Tango to make their ideas into a design that will be tested on the ISS.
“This challenge created an incredible response from young researchers around our country, which is a testament to the reach and excitement of collaborating with an entity like Marvel Entertainment,” said CASIS Director of Operations and Education Initiatives, Ken Shields. “The two selected investigations provide diverse, fun, and important research concepts, and we thank our partners at Marvel for bringing further awareness to research opportunities available through the International Space Station.”
Filed Under: Aerospace + defense