Seven projects from six universities will be put to the test in NASA and the National Space Grant Foundation’s 2014 Exploration Habitat (X-Hab) Academic Innovation Challenge, a program designed to heighten students’ interest in spaceflight-related disciplines and complement NASA’s current research and development on deep-space habitats.
The teams of undergraduate students will face a series of milestones throughout the 2013-2014 academic year to design, manufacture, assemble and test systems and concepts that could be used in future deep-space habitats, working closely with the NASA Advanced Exploration Systems program’s Deep Space Habitat Project team. Participants are encouraged to explore multidisciplinary approaches, outreach efforts and partnerships with experts and industry through the challenge. The teams are to produce prototypes, which may be integrated onto an existing NASA-built operational habitat prototype in May to June 2014.
Projects selected for the challenge are: Oklahoma State University, Stillwater: Horizontal Habitability Layout Studies; University of Colorado at Boulder: Plant Anywhere: Plants Growing in Free Habitat Spaces; Rice University: SpaceRing: a Versatile, Scalable Power-Generation and Cooling System; University of South Alabama, Mobile: Closed Environment Air Revitalization System Based on Metal Organic Framework Adsorbents; University of Wisconsin, Madison: Badger Compartmentalized Onboard Material Extrusion Technology; University of Maryland, College Park: Vertical Habitability Layout Studies; and University of Maryland, College Park: Neutral Buoyancy/Parabolic Flight Habitat Studies.