Lone Star College-CyFair engineering students are shooting for the stars again as they advance with their Camera Attachment Mechanism to the national level of NASA’s Micro-g Neutral Buoyancy Experiment Design Teams Challenge (Micro-g NExT).
LSC-CyFair is one of two community college teams participating along with 22 university teams in the national challenge, said Professor of Engineering Dr. Yiheng Wang, who co-advises the LSC-CyFair team with Professor of Engineering Technology Jared Cammon.
The teams have been tasked with designing a mechanism that astronauts can use to easily attach a camera (like a go-pro) to three different interfaces outside the International Space Station. This attached mechanism would provide NASA’s Mission Control a wider range of an astronaut’s surroundings on space walks than their helmet camera’s current limited view.
“We certainly plan to produce a successful prototype and have a successful testing session at NASA’s NBL (Neutral Buoyancy Lab) in May, just like our previous team, Team CERO, did,” said Wang.
Last year’s Team CERO (an acronym for Cutting, Extraction, and Retention Operations – based on their tool design) made college and NASA history when their award-winning, pen-shaped, zip tie cutter tool concept was chosen for flight design development for astronauts to use at the International Space Station.
“We also hope that NASA will adapt our Camera Attachment Mechanism design and implement it in their future missions,” said Wang. “Team CERO did it with their Zip Tie Cutter Tool design so to our new team, this goal is not that far-fetching and they certainly will do their best to repeat this success.”
This year’s LSC-CyFair Team Cy-SMIC (an acronym for CyFair - Station Mounted Interface for Cameras) consists of team lead Justin Gallegos and deputy lead Andres Ledesma (both past participants of the NASA Community College Aerospace Scholars program) and members Daniel Laverde, Tripp Manzella and Fei Xie.
As in previous years, this LSC-CyFair team also participates in the Texas Space Grant Consortium’s (TSGC) Annual Design Challenge and already won first place for Best Model and fourth for Top Design Team in the fall. This spring, along with a new member, David Rubio, Team Cy-SMIC will continue to improve on their Camera Attachment Mechanism design for the TSGC spring competition as well as in preparation for NBL testing at NASA in May.