VT NASA Design Team

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Virginia Tech’s Team Astra is an all freshmen team competing in the NASA Micro-g NExT design competition. The Micro-g NExT competition challenges undergraduate students across the nation to design, build, and test their device to solve a real-life space exploration problem.

Team Astra is working on creating a Surface Autonomous Vehicle for Emergency Response (SAVER) to be tested in NASA’s Neutral Buoyancy Lab in Houston, Texas.

The purpose of the SAVER is to autonomously deliver rescue supplies to astronauts in distress in maritime environments by tracking the ANGEL beacon on the life vests of astronauts.

Team Astra first began this project in October by researching and writing a design proposal to submit to NASA. They were informed they were selected to advance to Phase II of this competition in January, so they will be spending the rest of their spring semester finalizing their design and complete building their SAVER for it to be tested in June.

As of now, Team Astra just finished testing their prototype at Virginia Tech’s McComas pool to test how well it floats and can self orient. Team Astra will be posting progress updates on their instagram @2021TeamAstra.