NASA challenges students to imagine experiments for suborbital rocket launches

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NASA is looking for student teams to participate in its TechRise Student Challenge, which tasks students in grades 6 to 12 to design experiments to be launched on a suborbital space flight. The initiative aims to familiarize students with the design and testing process used by NASA researchers.

“The heart of NASA’s mission is to inspire and train the workforce of the future. The areas of research students can explore through TechRise are endless, from technology to better understand our planet to systems. innovative for deep space exploration, ”NASA Administrator Bill Nelson said in a statement. .

A team of at least four students and an educator from a public, chartered or private school can submit a proposal for experience to fly on one of two types of suborbital flight (in which the vehicle will reach space but will not revolve around the Earth) – a suborbital rocket or a high altitude balloon.

URLCopy to Clipboard

The 57 winning teams will each receive $ 1,500 to build their experiment and a place to test it on a rocket or balloon. Rockets include Blue Origin’s New Shepard, Up Aerospace boosters, and Raven Aerostar vehicles. Each team will also have access to expert help from Future Engineers, the organization administering the competition.

Experiments using rockets will be on display and will measure the impact of microgravity, or weightlessness, for three minutes during flight. Those flying on balloons will remain at a height of 70,000 feet (21 kilometers) for more than four hours, allowing students to perform experiments involving images of the Earth’s surface or the impact of invisible phenomena like pressure atmospheric.

NASA TechRise Student Challenge winning students got their ideas for experiments launched on suborbital rockets built by Blue Origin (pictured above), Up Aerospace, and Raven Aerostar. (Image credit: Blue Origin)

Proposals must be submitted through the Future Engineers website by November 3, 2021. NASA will announce the winners in January 2022 and the experiments are expected to launch in early 2023. Students can also register for a virtual excursion hosted by NASA and Future Engineers on September 24, which will provide more information and project ideas.

NASA is also seeking volunteer judges for the challenge with expertise in engineering, atmospheric research and space. Interested adults residing in the United States can apply here.

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