PISCES, NASA’s KSC Sign Space Agreement
Students at Kealakehe High School and ‘Iolani High School in the Moon Research Investigating Dust Expulsion Removal System (RIDERS) will work with NASA’s Kennedy Space Center mentors under a recently signed non-reimbursable Space Act Agreement between the Pacific International Space Center for Exploration Systems and KSC.
The Moon RIDERS program gives the students a chance to participate in a real-life lunar flight experiment that will be flown to the surface of the moon.
Under the freshly signed agreement between PISCES and KSC, the project is extended into Fall 2016. Other technical requirements are also included in the agreement, which will enhance the students’ overall experience.
Participants are working with electrodynamic dust shield technology, currently under development at KSC. The system allows the repellant of fine planetary dust found on the moon, mars, and asteroids off of space gear.
The dust is known to severely interfere with space equipment like space suits, robotics, camera lenses, and solar arrays.
KSC will mentor the selected students and provide consultations on the physics behind EDS; the design, development and construction of mounting and integration hardware; and testing and analysis of the flight experiment configuration.
Field tests and test data to KSC will be performed by the students. The testing could benefit KSC’s research and flight design efforts in the area of dust mitigation.
The Kealakehe and ‘Iolani students are expected to complete the prototype EDS frame by the end of November and the completion of their imaging data reduction and analysis by December.
PISCES and KSC are hopeful of the possibility to send the experiment to the moon as a science, technology, engineering, and math education payload on a commercial mission. Google XPrize competitors who are planning to launch and land by the end of 2017 are likely candidates for the mission.