Congratulations to UCSD’s TEAM REKK for NASA’s 2016 Micro-g NExT Competition

With support from CaSGC, congratulations to UC San Diego’s Team REKK (UCSD students Richard Valle, Euan Tan, Kristine Khieu, and Kyle Gillespie) for their winning entry, the RECC (Rock Extraction Chipping Container), for NASA ‘s 2016 Micro-g NExT  Competition held at the NASA Johnson Space Bouyancy Laboratory (NBL) in April 2016. Team REKK focused on mining an asteroid and developed a tool capable of safely chipping through regolith and collecting samples from four different sites while preventing cross contamination. Their design proposal was selected in December 2015, and the team was invited to build and test their tool design at NBL. In addition, Team REKK conducts community outreach targeting the under-served youth of San Diego with Space Day 2016 at the San Diego Air and Space Museum as their most recent event held May 14, 2016. At the event, Team REKK taught kids about microgravity conditions though a neutral buoyancy experiment. For more information on Team REKK, please visit their website at: https://ucsdrekk.wordpress.com/.

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Micro-g Neutral Buoyancy Experiment Design Teams (Micro-g NExT) program challenges undergraduate students to design build, and test a tool or device that addresses an authentic, current space exploration problem. The overall experience includes hands-on engineering design, test operations, and educational/public outreach. Test operations are conducted in the simulated microgravity environment of the NASA Johnson Space Center Neutral Buoyancy Laboratory (NBL).

Teams will propose design and prototyping of a tool or simulant identified by NASA engineers as necessary in space exploration missions. Professional NBL divers will test the tools and students will direct the divers from the Test Conductor Room of the NBL facility. For more information , please visit: https://microgravityuniversity.jsc.nasa.gov/index.cfm.