Exploring the Best in Show Solutions from the Spring 2024 Space Station Technology Challenge!

Posted April 30, 2024 by Miranda Marshall

In the rapidly advancing world of space exploration, innovation and creativity are the driving forces behind the development of technologies that can revolutionize life both on and off our planet. The Spring 2024 Space Station Technology Challenge showcased some of the brightest minds and their groundbreaking projects aimed at enhancing life on Earth and in space. Let’s delve into the six Best in Show winners from this competition, categorized into Earth Use and Space Use.

 

Earth Use Category

  1. Bright Horizons from Frisco, Texas

– Team Members: Shashank Kamal, Arnav Shukla

– Coach: Sivasankari Kamal

“Predictive Monoclonal Antibody Engineering Using ORION: A Deep Learning Approach to Hybridoma Development using Space-Based Microphysiological Systems”

The Bright Horizons team tackled a critical issue in biomedical research by harnessing the power of space-based technology. Their project focused on using tissue chip data to analyze patterns in antigen-specific monoclonal antibody (mAb) formation. This approach could revolutionize antibody development by shifting away from animal-based hybridomas towards mAbs directly created from human cells. By eliminating pathogenesis, this technology promises safer and more efficient methods for therapeutic antibody production.

  1. The Turtles from Lebanon, Tennessee

– Team Members: Sean Sawyer, Spencer Green, Roy Martinez, Emad Ibrahim

– Coach: Kalaiselvi Udayakumar

“Solid Propellant Gas Generator”

The Turtles’ project addressed vehicle safety with a solid propellant gas generator designed for emergency braking systems. Their innovation aims to enhance vehicle braking efficiency during critical situations, potentially reducing accidents and improving overall road safety. This technology could have far-reaching impacts on automotive safety standards and emergency response systems.

  1. New Horizons GSST Team 5 from Hampton, Virginia

– Team Members: Evan Richards, Raymond Gao

– Coach: Elena Kuchina

“Expanding Space Tourism Using Existing Technology”

New Horizons GSST Team 5 proposed a novel solution for expanding space tourism by developing a large, inflatable habitat section for space travelers. By leveraging existing International Space Station (ISS) life support and power systems, this project aims to make space travel more accessible and sustainable, opening up new frontiers for commercial space exploration and inspiring people to take better care of the planet we call home.

 

Space Use Category

  1. EPIC Aerospace Four from Littleton, Colorado

– Team Members: Logan Farnham, Hunter Hegstrom, Lorenzo Castro

– Coach: KatieRae Williamson

“Cardiovascular Health in Space: Monitoring Vitals in Microgravity”

EPIC Aerospace Four’s project focused on astronaut health in space, specifically monitoring cardiovascular vitals in microgravity. They developed a wearable watch capable of tracking heart rate, blood oxygen levels, and blood flow. This technology could provide crucial insights into how the cardiovascular system adapts to space environments, aiding in the design of safer and more efficient space missions.

  1. Arrowspace from Toledo, Ohio

– Team Members: Naomi Haselhuhn, Sarah Daschbach, Paisley DeHan, Clara Aquillo, Ceroline Ryden

– Coach: Jennifer Greco

“Improving Lives of Astronauts: Building Wall Gardens of Specially Chosen Plants on the ISS”

Arrowspace’s project aimed to enhance astronauts’ quality of life aboard the ISS by creating indoor wall gardens of specially chosen plants. This initiative not only improves air quality and food sources in space but also contributes to mental health and medicinal resources for long-duration missions. Indoor gardening technologies could have profound implications for sustainable living in space.

  1. Quintessence from Alexandria, Virginia

– Team Members: Taran Bhandari, Nikhil Krishna, Nived Nandakumar, Rushil Kukreja

– Coach: Srikanth Bhandari

“Autonomous Laser Debris Removal: An AI-Driven Solution for a Sustainable Space Environment”

Quintessence’s project addressed the growing threat of space debris by proposing an autonomous laser debris removal system. This innovative solution utilizes space-based lasers to vaporize small portions of debris, altering their course and reducing the risk of collisions with satellites. Such technologies are essential for maintaining a sustainable space environment critical for future space missions and satellite operations.

 

The Spring 2024 Space Station Technology Challenge winners exemplify the spirit of innovation and collaboration necessary to push the boundaries of space exploration! These projects not only demonstrate groundbreaking technologies but also highlight the potential impact of space-based research on improving life both on Earth and aboard the International Space Station. As we continue to unlock the mysteries of the universe, it is these visionary endeavors that pave the way for a brighter future in space exploration and technological development.