Next Level Devils take off on microgravity adventure with NASA’s Micro-g NExT program

It’s long been Brittany Nez’s dream to work in the aerospace industry, and she’s not waiting until graduation to do so.

In fall 2015, the aerospace engineering senior founded the Arizona State University Next Level Devils to participate in NASA’s Micro-g Neutral Buoyancy Experiment Design Teams program, better known as Micro-g NExT. A year later, the team’s proposal has been accepted and they’re gearing up to take their design to NASA’s Neutral Buoyancy Laboratory near the Johnson Space Center in Houston, Texas, for testing this summer.

The Micro-g NExT program challenges undergraduate students to design, build and test a tool or device that addresses an authentic, current space exploration challenge. The testing of the designs is conducted by trained divers in the simulated microgravity environment of the NBL.

When the team of Ira A. Fulton Schools of Engineering students received the challenge in August 2016 they had three months to design and write the proposal. Their acceptance notice arrived in December 2016 and they have been manufacturing, testing and participating in outreach activities since then.

“A central goal of our project and opportunity to participate in the NASA program is community outreach,” says Patrick Hull, a mechanical engineering junior who is the team’s design lead. “We have been participating in on-campus events like Night of the Open Door as well as going to local high schools to teach STEM lesson plans related to aerospace topics.”

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