Micro-g Update - Prototypes, Outreach, and More! posted in microg

March 04, 2017

This is an exciting time for the Micro-g team. We’ve been hard at work over the past couple of weeks, planning and running our outreach events, making design improvements, and even prototyping!

Prototypes and Design Improvements

A few weeks ago, we met our advisor from NASA (via web video), who will be helping us through the final stages of our product development and testing. Before the meeting, our mission co-leads 3D-printed the first prototype of the sample tube in our device.

We were even able to take a photo of the full team, thanks to a little help from web video!

Lately, our design improvements have been focused on optimizing the turbine driving the drill using a new “planetary gear” system. Check out one of our sketches below:

We’ve also begun prototyping the Iris Mechanism at the bottom of our drill. The mechanism contains many small parts, so printing it was a little tricky. However, our second attempt looks much more promising.

We’re going to continue to improve our design, and soon we’ll start machining our drill!


 Our team has been having an incredible amount of fun planning and running our outreach events over the past few weeks. We’ve been spending a lot of time at various kids’ science events, teaching them about space technology and our project, and encouraging them to go into STEM fields so they can also contribute to our exploration of the final frontier! Here are some of the highlights from our outreach events at the Intrepid Air and Space Museum, Liberty Science Center, and Manhattanville Community Center.

On Friday, February 24, we ran a workshop at the Intrepid’s Kids’ Week.

We talked to them about parachutes—how they work, how they’re made, and their role in bringing astronauts back to Earth safely. Then, we guided them through the process of making their own parachutes, and everyone had a blast!

  On Saturday, February 25, some brave souls among us woke up at the crack of dawn to make the trek to Liberty Science Center in New Jersey. They explained our project to the kids, and demonstrated basic principles of energy by simulating asteroids hitting planets and making craters. 

It got a little messy, but everyone loved it!

Finally, this past Friday, March 4, we ran our first of four workshops at Manhattanville Community Center. The parachute activity was repeated to great success.

 Stay tuned for more updates!

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