NASA HUNCH Hardware Projects

• Design and Prototyping gives Students the opportunity to
help develop important hardware and features that could
help the astronauts live more functionally and aid in the
scientific and engineering capability on the International
Space Station.
• The Following slides have different project ideas that
students could work toward for the 2015-2016 school year.
• Preliminary Design Review at JSC – December 2015
• Final Design Review- May 2015
 The ISS does not have a washing machine for clothing. All
clothing is used for an extended amount of time and then
thrown away. This is due to resources and crew time.
Unfortunately clothes and fabric panels still get stains
 Cleaning clothes like we do on Earth is not an option in
microgravity, and any solutions would have to take into account
for the recycling of water on the space station.
 Desire to use minimal fluid and no alcohol allowed, spot
cleaning preferred method (why can’t you just use shout
wipes? Environmental control group at NASA does not allow on
ISS due to chemical component issues).
 Potential project could be very small/compact/little use of
water/recycling concepts for spot cleaning. Keep in mind fungal
and bacterial growth as potentials on space station.
• Exercise concepts (simple) to create resistance in a
microgravity environment.
• The Orion vehicle is a capsule that will support people
traveling for 23 or more days and will need exercise
equipment for their mission.
• It’s important to have small, portable, simple concepts
aside from the more complex machines they currently use
on the Station.
• Resistance in both directions of motion is preferable.
• Important exercises needed: Lower abs, stretching of
hamstring, exercises for shoulder and rotator cuff,
stretching lower back.
• Low resistance, high rep, look at exercises done by baseball
pitchers to help with their rotator cuffs.
• What happens if the crewmember releases in mid stroke?
Is it dangerous?
• Before getting into potential design ideas for exercise,
please research all aspects of the microgravity environment
for exercise.
The station currently uses a green, 2L, “Sea to Summit” nylon bag from REI. It has been modified to have a draw
string . Nylon is considered flammable and must be contained within a nonflammable container.
The current nomex bag container is difficult to work with as there is a 4”x 6” Velcro on the closing flap lid, too
much. The restraining Velcro loops on the back are too far down the bag and allows the top of the bag to flop
instead of stay still when putting trash inside.
The galley table has handrails, seat track D-rings and many locations for Velcro.
The trash bag holder should have a method for holding the trash bag in place, some kind of easy to use closing
mechanism and hold a quantity of rubber bands.
• – Tape is difficult to manage on-orbit and a one-hand-operable solution is desired.
There are 18 different kinds of tape on orbit but dispensers are currently only needed for the Kapton tapes, and Duct
Tape. — Contact Mentor for specifics. Standard diameters are typically 1” and 2”
Cutting edge should be protected so crew isn’t cut by accident when floating past
All individual rolls can be stowed together but also separated for a specific job.
Helpful if exposed adhesive is protected from floating dust
Seat track, handrail and/or Velcro attachment are good options for restraint.
The pictures are only to illustrate that there are many different types of tape dispensers—don’t limit your ideas to what
you have seen.
• Many of the end mill holders for the shop mills have small dimly written labels that can be difficult to
read in the shop lighting. Some of the end mills are also specific to a particular part for a job and could
cause difficulty if mixed up with other tools.
• Develop clip-on label holders for the end mills that could be put on and taken off quickly with easy to
read identifiers.
• This project is primarily for metal shop and/or Intro to Engineering Design Classes
Astronauts travel extensively while getting training
before launch to many different countries and time
zones—Russia, Japan, Germany, Canada. This
causes difficulty with jet lag and being awake for
the training at hand. The crew needs to know
when they should shift their sleep hours to make
their transitions to the new location easier.
Develop software to help crew know when they
sleep shift to avoid jet lag and to be alert before
and after their travel.
Requirements and suggestions
• Crew primarily uses Apple based products
• Could be for the iPhone or iPad.
• Might use a map that interfaces with the
schedule calendar to give recommendations on
when to sleep.
• The orbital path of the ISS is protected
somewhat by the magnetosphere around the
Earth from heavy radiation.
• During Long duration missions, the crew will no
longer have that protection and will need to find
simple ways to protect the crew from space
• Looking for simple concept ideas for direct crew
protection, vehicle protection, crew quarters
Things to consider:
• To date there are not any games designed
specifically for zero gravity. Some crews have
developed some games that were played for the
short time they were on orbit but it wasn’t
planned out and rules were not written. Each
game was limited to that one mission.
• Imagine some kind of alteration of darts, croquet,
horseshoes, Quiddich, space station ping pong, 3D
golf, table football…… (something new) that is
designed specifically for zero gravity.
• Look at Don Petit Youtube videos and try and mix
science with some game ideas.
Can’t damage equipment
Air currents change from one module to the next and they will blow with
different strengths and directions.
Without gravity paper airplanes don’t fly the same on the station as they
do here.
What kind of “ball” or “dart” could be designed on the ground and then
have the crew print out on orbit for the crew to try?
In Frisbee golf, a player might have several different Frisbees to make a
shot—putter, long throw, curves right, curves left….. What would be the
needs for the player who is trying make a goal in the Lab when they are
floating in the FGB?
Space Station Layout
Space Station air circulation
Station Tour (there are lots of others)
The current 3D printer uses ABS plastic. ABS plastic is too brittle for some
applications on orbit and too rigid for other applications. However, it
might be perfect for making molds for materials that fit the Stations needs.
Demonstrate the ability to mold a part on orbit with the currently available
materials and lead the way for a variety of more appropriate materials to
be flown in the future for repairs.
Injection mold—with foaming RTV or dental epoxy
Press epoxy putty into mold—like injection mold but with the thick,
viscus putty material
Requirements and Tips
Learn about different types of molds and casting.
Apply the methods that might be possible in zero-g.
Avoid loose particulate and hot substances.
Foaming Silicone RTV
Waffle iron—squirt expanding foam into one half of mold,
assemble with other side of mold and allow to cure. This may help
minimize void problems without gravity to help
Scaffolding—print a loose structure frame work and squirt epoxy
material to take up space in the structure. Use capillary action to
draw liquid into structure. Stronger than ABS plastic and the epoxy
by itself--like reinforced concrete
Epoxy Putty
Add wire or other metal structure to any of these mold activities to
act as “rebar” to add strength to the part.
Other ideas?
Releasing agent
Field’s metal's_metal
Space Slippers
Since crew are not walking while on orbit, they loose the calluses on the bottom of their feet. However,
because they are using the tops of their feet to hold themselves on the handrails, the tops of their feet can
get sore until they build up calluses. Don Pettit modified some earthbound slippers to help by putting the
leather on the top of the sock. HUNCH has been given the task to build new space slippers that would
improve on Don’s idea.
• The pictures show a knitted sock, use a tighter weave sock to avoid snags–Sock should be an appropriate thickness for a
temperature range of 68 to 73 degrees F of the Station.
• The sock should at least cover the ankle but should not go above the calf.
• The leather pad should be flexible but still thick enough to spread out the force on the foot– possibly deer skin.
• The leather pad should go from under the toes to the top of the foot but should not interfere with the motion of the ankle.
• Expect that each crew member will dispose of this at the end of their mission—it won’t fly back home.
• Problem—
The Waste and Hygiene Compartment (Space Toilet)
uses a colored acid to prevent salt and precipitate
crystals from urine from damaging hardware. This acid
has been known to not get diluted properly due to
difficulties with the dose pump that mixes the acid
with water. The WHC team needs a holder for the
transparent line that carries this fluid so a colorimeter
can measure the color of the fluid and describe the
concentration numerically.
• Students will work with ground engineers to
design and print out a specialized block that will
hold a double walled transparent hose to allow
a colorimeter to have repeatable color
measurements of the fluid within the hose. This
hose holder will be used on station for
diagnostic purposes of the WHC and aid in
solving problems with the water recovery
system. This device may be printed on the
ground and flown or printed on orbit depending
on the needs of the program.
The crew has received a new universal battery
charger. Each of the different kinds of battery
on the station has a different adapter but there
isn’t a holder for all the different adapters. The
crew would like to have the adapters stowed
close to the battery charger instead of in
another locker in a different module.
Requirements and suggestions
The method could be a special bag or a rack
like how cassettes or CD could be stowed.
• It needs to have a positive capture on the
adapters so they can’t float away.
• It should take up as little space as possible.
• Use only flight approved materials:
aluminum, nomex, ULTEM plastic,
Request more information from HUNCH Mentor
Crew Quarters is the “bedroom” and private space for each crew
member. Air is pulled in from the module at the front of the CQ and
blown across the head of the resting crew member. A second fan pulls
air away from the their feet and returns the air out to the module so
there is constant air flow through the CQ preventing CO2 pockets.
Inside Inlet
Air Grill
• Over time dust collects in the ducting, on the fans and the Outside
Inlet Air Grill
air flow sensors of the CQ. Mission Control had the crew
install some thin gauze on the inlet grills with tape that
catches some of the dust and allows the crew to vacuum
Constraints and tips
the dust off once a week. This gauze is not as durable or
Could be a grill that is installed on top of the current
permanent as NASA would like and would prefer a more
grills or installs on the CQ instead of the current grills.
permanent solution that might include a wire gauze and an
easier access for cleaning.
Needs to have a minimal impediment on the current
air flow of the CQ
• Will be primarily collecting skin and lint.
The crew is currently cleaning the
• Must be durable so it can be cleaned
ducting once per mission which takes
• Easily removed and vacuumed
about 3 hours.
Request more information from HUNCH Mentor
Crew Quarters is the “bedroom” and private space for each crew
member. Air is pulled in from the module at the front of the CQ and
blown across the head of the resting crew member. A second fan pulls
air away from the their feet and returns the air out to the module so
there is constant air flow through the CQ preventing CO2 pockets.
Constraints and Tips
 The program would like to have packets of Zeolite to remove CO2 that
 Some crew have been waking up with head
could be placed on the outlet vent that blows across the crew’s heads to
aches, we believe the CQ has good air flow
cut down on CO2 in the CQ when CDRA is having trouble.
but there is high CO2 in the station when the  These packets might be similar to a tea bag (different dimensions) but they
CDRA is not functioning to its capacity.
could have stiffeners to keep their shape.
 The program would like to have a
 These packets would need to be made of materials that could be placed in
contingency method of scrubbing CO2 from
the food warmer (temperatures up to 185F) to bake out the absorbed CO2
the local air of the CQ to help crew rest better
so they could be used again
if the CDRA is working poorly. (think of an
 These packets would need some kind of holder to keep them oriented in
individual CO2 scrubber, so it is small and
the air flow from the inlet grill.
 This bag holder should not impede air flow out of the grill but still provide
surface area for the CO2 removal.
 Request more information from HUNCH Mentor
• Sometimes a payload needs to send up
materials or equipment that are sensitive to the
vibrations associated with the launch and reentry loads. We need a vibration isolation
system for a box that can hold small, sensitive
payloads. This isolation system and box should
fit inside a Shuttle Locker with interior
dimensions of 430mm x 510mm x 250mm to
dampen out the vibrations during the launch
and re-entry of a capsule.
Requirements and tips
• The object to be launched may be as massive 15kg
with a volume as large as 300mm x 260mm x
• Easy to open and close and lock
• Allows for decompression of the launch vehicle
without expansion
• Re-useable
• Flight appropriate materials—not flammable, no offgassing
• Can be packed into the vehicle in any orientation
Requirements and tips
• NASA sends a large variety of food to the station
for the crew. Unfortunately there is a lot of
fresh food (apples, carrots, bell peppers,
bananas) that can’t be stowed for long periods
of time without them going bad.
• Goal: Develop methods to send up fresh food
that would allow crew to store “fresh” fruits and
vegetables for longer periods of time.
• Do not introduce new chemicals to the station
• Utilize some of the food preservation,
techniques, technology and materials used in
the food industry.
• Try to minimize the packing materials
• Try to limit yourself to only 1 or 2 types of food
for your project but if it applies to many, show it.
• The ISS has a limited number of methods to kill off
bacteria and mold. Due to residues and chemical
reactions with air and water recycling, sending up
alcohol and other biocides is difficult. We need a
biocide that kills bacteria without leaving materials
that will damage the current air and water supply.
• Develop a method of killing bacteria and mold
without using liquid chemicals and detergents that
could damage the station equipment. Currently
the station uses BZK (Benzalkonium Chloride) based
solutions in wipes. An alternative is needed.
Requirements and tips
• Could be a biocidal cloth that could be wiped on
surfaces—X-static cloth could be placed over a
panel with fungus or bacterial growth to kill off
the material
• Needs to not damage or stain the ISS
materials—allodine and anodized aluminum,
painted surfaces, Nomex and gortex cloth
Tips and suggestions
• NASA and RSA have mass measuring devices
designed to measure the mass of a person but
they don’t have anything to measure small
masses on the order of 2 kg and less for
• Design and build a mass measuring device for
experiments that can handle a variety of
different volumes (on the order of a liter and
smaller) and masses (on the order of 2kg down
to 5 g ) with an accuracy down to 1%.
• The intention is to be able to measure the mass of mice
without stressing hurting or stressing them.
• Crystals or quantities of liquid may also need to be measured.
• NASA has used both vibrational (Sky Lab) and F=ma (space
shuttle and ISS—SLAMM D) style mass measuring devices. A
rotational mass scale has also been tested successfully in
• Many high school physics lab manuals have an experiment for
measuring inertial mass using vibrations that you should try.
• Is there a way to use a gyroscope for measuring mass of an
• Your device should fit into an ISIS drawer to limit contact with
equipment –150mm x 309mm x 570 mm
• If rotation, limit to 45 RPM or less.—less is better (imagine
being the mouse being spun).
• Final flight designs will have to incorporate only flight
approved materials: aluminum, nomex, ULTEM plastic,
• Because of the zero-g environment, loose items like
small tools, screws, nuts, Q-tips….. can be ejected
out of zip lock bags when the bag is opened. Crew
often use double sided tape to hold screws and
tools while disassembling and reassembling
equipment but sometimes tape residue causes
• Develop a few different style bags or items that
would help keep loose items from getting away
from the crew member while they are working and
opening bags.
Tips and suggestions
• Gecko tape is new non-adhesive tape that utilizes
very small filaments and Van der Waal’s forces to
stick to objects.
• Static electricity is possible but sparks could be
troublesome to electronics
• Air flow is sometimes used to control loose
particles—like having a fan and bag that keeps the
crumbs from food from getting into a person’s face.
(battery power would allow it to be portable)
It is helpful to be able to see in the bag without
opening it.
Final flight designs will have to incorporate only
flight approved materials: aluminum, nomex,
ULTEM plastic, polycarbonate…
Handles for the CEVIS
When the crew rides the bike, there are times they
like to hold onto something to keep themselves
oriented or to stabilize the equipment. They have
been using Bogan arms clamped onto the frame
with IP Clamps. Bogan Arms attach to the seat
track on the IP Clamp. Over time the friction balls
of the Bogan arms get worn down from the crew
pushing and pulling on them and no longer stay
rigid. Develop a new kind of handle that will clamp
onto the CEVIS for crew to steady themselves
while exercising.
Tips and Suggestions
Bogen Arm
Keep it simple. Notice that they don’t ride it like a
bike and a Bogan Arm fits many of their needs but
it isn’t comfortable to grip.
What kind of bike handles already exist that might
be helpful?
Keep it easy to clean.
How variable can you make it for different people
to grip for a different positions without being
Request more information from HUNCH Mentor
Bogen Arm