Micro-g Neutral Buoyancy Experiment Design Teams (Micro-g NExT) challenges undergraduate students to design, build, and test a tool or device that addresses an authentic, current space exploration challenge. The overall experience includes hands-on engineering design, test operations, and 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. Micro-g NExT provides a unique opportunity to contribute to NASA’s missions. The 2024 Micro-g NExT challenges focus on Orion crew safety and lunar extravehicular activities (EVA) operations during the Artemis missions.
Check out the details of the current challenges. Each year a new list of challenges aligned to future space exploration missions are identified. These challenge descriptions are NASA unique opportunities to support future deep space exploration and Artemis missions. Teams are encouraged to participate in Micro-g NExT and contribute to the history of Artemis Generation efforts to return to the Moon and in preparation for human exploration to Mars and beyond. Last updated 8/22/2023.
Feel free to reference our guidelines to assist you. Detailed information on creating a technical proposal, operations plan, and meeting safety and technical requirements is included. Additional information on STEM engagement requirements as well as an administrative section will help teams prepare for all the requirements for the challenge. Last updated 08/22/2023.
Let us help you answer some of the most common questions you may have. Detailed information on the challenge, technical guidance, challenge specific details and lessons learned from prior Micro-g NExT participants can be found here. Last updated 8/22/2023.
Date: 06-05-2023 Location: NBL, SCTF Subject: 2023 Micro-G Next Challenge, Prototype Test Week Team: 2023 Micro-G Next Challenge Group Photo
Photographer: James Blair
Authentic, hands-on learning experiences give students in middle school all the way through graduate school a chance to flex their design and engineering skills as they build and launch high-powered rockets, design robots capable of mining the Moon’s surface or traversing difficult lunar terrain, create human-powered rovers, and test technologies and tools to assist future astronauts working on the Moon.