In June 2022, three Boise State students from the NASA Micro-g Neutral Buoyancy Experiment Design Team (Micro-g NExT) arrived at the NASA Johnson Space Center Neutral Buoyancy Laboratory to see their device, “The CLAW,” tested by NASA scientists.
This year’s challenge was to “design a sample marker for astronauts to deploy on the lunar surface. The design should focus on ease of use with limited hand dexterity and body positioning in a spacesuit. The purpose of the sample marker is to provide real-time data about a sample or rock to the scientists back on Earth.”
In true Bronco fashion, Boise State’s team, guided by Distinguished Educator in Residence and retired astronaut Steve Swanson, set about engineering, designing and building a tool to do exactly that. Soren Witter, DeAnna Andrade, and Ainsley Iwersen represented Boise State at the Johnson Space Center.
Andrade is a senior mechanical engineering major who anticipates graduating in December 2022. She was born in Puerto Vallarta, Mexico and grew up in Boise. Witter is a senior and will graduate in spring of 2023. He is also majoring in mechanical engineering, and hails from Steilacoom, WA. Iwersen is a junior transferring to Texas A&M University as an Aerospace Engineering major, and she hails from Middleton, Idaho.