NASA Hunch

I have had the unique opportunity to work alongside NASA as part of my school's NASA HUNCH Program as part of my senior year. High School Students United with NASA to Create Hardware (HUNCH) offers students in select programs across the United States the opportunity to work with NASA to develop hardware for the NASA astronauts and missions. As part of the design and prototype division of the program, my team of 4 and I have been tasked to develop a trash ejector for future ars missions. Other student teams at my school are tackling challenges ranging from agriculture labs for the International Space Station to lunar habitat radiation protection.

As part of this program, another student and I are acting as officers of the CTSO club associated with the program. In this position we are responsible for organizing, leading, and taking notes on classwide meetings. These meetings are designed to help our project teams refine their designs, receive feedback from other students, and consider solutions that they may have never considered.

I also hold a leadership position on my own project team of four people. Our team has been working to design a trash ejector for future Mars missions. I have also taken on the role of our CAD engineer and transformed our ideas into tangible designs. I had never worked with Solidworks before, but I took on this role to learn more about this program and improve my CAD abilities. My three teammates have examined our proposed problem and come up with multiple iterations for the design of this device. We have been working on this project for the past semester -- passing through three iterations of prototypes and attending a preliminary design review with NASA engineers to critique our project. We will continue to develop and prototype this idea until March, when we will hopefully be invited to demonstrate our prototype for astronauts in Houston.

Our device works as both an airlock and a trash ejection system. This allows astronauts to eject their trash while maintaining the seal against the vacuum of space.

Design Overview