WAPATO, WA - NASA wants a closer look at a couple of projects some Wapato High School students are working on to feed astronauts and protect them from radiation while in space.
The High School’s Robotics & Engineering Team has been invited as a finalist to present at the NASA HUNCH Final Design Review program in Houston, Texas on April 16, 2019. HUNCH stands for High Schools United with NASA to Create Hardware.
This is the fourth time in the last five years that the program has been invited by NASA.
The Final Design Review program will give the students the opportunity to show NASA astronauts and engineers the progress they have made on their “Apples in Space” project.
This is a project Wapato High School students have now spent 5-years developing.
Their goal is to create a system that keeps fruit (apples) fresh for a longer period of time while in space, for example while aboard the International Space Station (ISS).
Currently, when astronauts aboard the ISS receive a delivery of fresh fruit it needs to be eaten fairly quickly or it spoils because there is no long term storage system on the ISS.
Wapato High School students have been working the past 5-years to develop the hardware and a process that would provide that long term storage.
The adviser for the club, Christopher Beyrouty, said, "They (students) are trying to find a way to keep apples fresh in space longer without the use of refrigeration." He also mentioned how they are testing the apples, "We are trying it first here on earth to see if we can get apples to last longer without refrigeration using some of the techniques our industry currently uses, such as control atmosphere."
The other project students will present while in Houston is called the RAD Jacket. RAD stands for Radiation Absorption Device.
The students were challenged with designing a garment to hold radiation shielding materials being developed by Lockheed Martin.
The goal is to develop a jacket that will protect the vital organs of the astronauts from radiation but still allow for plenty of mobility. The RAD Jacket would provide the protection and mobility NASA is hoping for.
NASA considered about 300 projects from around the country for a Final Design Review.
The Wapato High School projects were among just 76 that received an invite.