Astro Anchors proceed to Phase 2 of NASA Micro-g NExT challenge

December 08, 2023

Astro Anchors proceed to Phase 2 of NASA  Micro-g NExT challenge

This year, NASA put forth a Micro-g NExT challenge that included designing a lunar flag, flagpole, and anchoring system that can be deployed on the surface of the moon with ease by a fully suited astronaut. Post final testing at the NASA Johson Space Center, NASA may use certain designs during the upcoming Artemis III missions. 

During Phase I of the challenge, twelve members of the American Society of Mechanical Engineers (ASME) - GVSU section formed a team named Astro Anchors and worked together to develop a simple yet effective design that met all of NASA’s constraints. The design, selected by NASA to move to Phase II, included a modular flagpole system with few mechanical components to reduce the time required for deployment from a stowed configuration. Only proposals from 3 other universities across the country were selected during the phase I challenge!

Over the next semester, the Astro Anchors will work with a NASA mentor to build and test a prototype of their design. Each team member brings in a unique set of skills that are essential in completing this project on time, and the challenge will give everyone involved excellent hands-on experience while networking with NASA. The challenge will culminate with a trip to NASA’s Johnson Space Center in Houston, where the team will test their final flagpole in their Neutral Buoyancy Lab. 

During the course of the project, the Astro Anchors will also be engaging in extensive STEM outreach. Their major effort involves working closely with Allendale High School (AHS) to promote space research and create an engineering pipeline between AHS and GVSU. 

The members making up the Astro Anchors team are Scott Strayer, Caleb Capps, Andrew Latunski, Tasmiya Shaikh, Isabella Moore, Dayna Straub, Owen Kirkpatrick, Aiden Latchaw, Abigail Way, Cebrina Kader, Simon Morgan and Rock Phelps.

The faculty mentor for this project is Sanjivan Manoharan, and the major sponsors thus far are Aavneo Technologies LLC, GVSU Center for Scholarly Excellence, and GVSU School of Engineering.


Share this news story

View More PCEC News

Page last modified December 8, 2023