PSA Microgravity Challenge
Please use this room to ask your questions of the experts and/or chat
with students from around the word regarding your design of a microgravity
environment for testing your PSA. Instructions for this project may be
found at http://quest.nasa.gov/projects/space/psa04/index.html
We will monitor, but not moderate this chat room unless it is abused.
Please report concerns to me at email@example.com - be sure to send
the URL of this chat room in your email. Thanks!
RE: [ ganesh ] wheather it can be used in ordinary
Hi Ganesh, I'm not sure I understand what you're asking - could you clarify
RE: [ amanda/TN ] how far is everyone else?
Hi Amanda, I will send out an email tomorrow to encourage classrooms to
respond here. Hopefully by now classrooms are becoming acquainted with
some of the features of Microgravity by viewing the videos and perhaps
doing some of the activities in the Microgravity Lessons at: http://quest.nasa.gov/space/teachers/microgravity/
As you begin to think through your design,
this research will be helpful. How far have you gotten? Do you need some
help from our experts?
[amanda/TN - 170 - 09:34:09 ]
I may need help later. I was chosen as a teacher for the field test. I
can't wait to get started! Thanks for the reply. AManda
RE: [ Melanie/MD ] Hello, This whole thing is new
to me. I'm an enrichment teacher at a middle school in Maryland. I have
two small 8th grade teams competing, and one whole 6th grade class. How
do we get involved in chat room/open forum discussions during the time
block they have Science class (9:45-11:00 a.m. daily)? Please advise,
and thank you! --melanie
Hi Melanie. We treat this room like a forum rather than a chat room. If
you have questions for either the NASA engineers involved with the PSA
or for other classrooms participating in this challenge - just post them
here and we will get them answered as quickly as possible.
RE: [ Melanie/MD ] One more question for now: The
directions state that the PSA can be moved manually or mechanically. I'm
assuming the students cannot touch it--correct? If not, how might it be
moved "manually?" Thanks again, --melanie
Its motion may be initiated manually, for instance giving it a push to
get it moving, however its ability to maintain microgravity-like movement
should be dependent on the testbed, not manual manipulation.
RE: [ melanie/MD ] Hi again, Kids have a question:
Can the device be in more than one piece that can be attached/detached
to the PSA? Please advise and thanks. --melanie
If I'm reading your questions correctly, I think the answer is yes. What
we really need is a way to demonsrate how the PSA would function in microgravity
- how you do that is up to you! If I've misunderstood, please clarify.
RE: [ tanya/wayneok ] how and where do we submit
Excellent question! and I'm sorry - the link was up once, but... Instructions
are at: http://quest.nasa.gov/projects/space/psa04/posting.html
- in short you may send electronic submissions to me: firstname.lastname@example.org
RE: [ Melanie ] Will a magnetic field around the
PSA mess it up?
The answer depends on the strength and behavior of the magnetic field.
If it's strong enough and rapidly changing directions, bad things can
happen to electronics. But inside the space station, it shouldn't be exposed
to such extremes.
RE: [ Melanie ] Will a magnetic field around the
PSA mess it up?
Can you explain the context of the question? The reason I ask is that
I thought the student's role in this challenge was to device a means for
creating a microgravity environment in which the PSA could be tested...
Is she asking a question regarding a magnetic field environment of their
testbed (like being near big motors or something), or is she concerned
about the ISS? In general, fluctuating magnetic fields induce voltage
on wires. This induced voltage could cause the signals that are transmitted
over those wires to change, thereby "affecting" the PSA operation,
(i.e. the PSA might detect incorrect data), or if the field is strong-enough,
actually cause harm to some electronics.
RE: [ Melanie ] Can we encase the PSA in something?
What would you want to encase the PSA in? Are you talking about a means
to shield it from magnetic fields? Yes, you could add a conducting shield
to its shell that will prevent electromagnetic fields from getting inside
it. However, this would increase the weight of the PSA, so we'd only want
to do it if we had to.
RE: [ Keith_Nicewarner/Robot_Engineer ] What would
you want to encase the PSA in? Are you talking about a means to shield
it from magnetic fields? Yes, you could add a conducting shield to its
shell that will prevent electromagnetic fields from getting inside it.
However, this would increase the weight of the PSA, so we'd only want
to do it if we had to.
I concur with Keith's statement. If she is talking about external fields
affecting the PSA, a shell liner, conducting to the system's electrical
ground should do the trick. If she is talking about something within the
PSA itself (say propulsion or the like) causing the EMF emissions, then
it becomes an internal quest to attempt to isolate the source...
ForMr. Brennan's 6/7th Grade at Bullyard State School, how would you make
sure that it would move for 3 seconds? I know you could do it, but it
would take a little caculations to figure out the right tension on the
spring. Just a heads up.
RE: [ JordanMD ] ForMr. Brennan's 6/7th Grade at
Bullyard State School, how would you make sure that it would move for
3 seconds? I know you could do it, but it would take a little caculations
to figure out the right tension on the spring. Just a heads up.
Thanks Jordan - I'll make sure the folks from Bullyard State School see
your remarks. Were you referring to one of the designs in particular?
Notice, each has a student name in the index.
[ChrisMD - 196 - 10:15:32 ]
I'm working with Jordan. How long are you planning for it to be in space?
RE: [unknown] Can you cange your model?
Of Course you can change your model, you made it.
Why does the PSA have to continue to move 3 seconds after you stop pushing
it? Is it just to simulate micro-gravity? Wouldn't it make more sense
to have the PSA stop at the point you wish it to stop at
Does it have to move up and down, or does it only have to move up/down?
The website said "UP or Down".
I think the notion of Newtonion motion has perhaps not been made clear.
Perhaps a metaphor is in order. For example, many people understand what
an air hockey table is. We should be able to talk students through the
notion of pushing an air hockey puck, and watching it continue to move
across the table, even after you are no longer touching it. How would
you do the same thing for up and down (vertical) motion? Gravity is going
to be always pulling it down, but if you push it up, it needs to keep
moving up... How would you accomplish that?...
Please note: Expert Dan Andrews has made comments and asked questions
about each of your designs online. These questions are to get you thinking
to help you refine your final designs. Hope to begin seeing those designs
[Gino_Laffer/Funks8thgradeenrichmentgroup - 205 -
I'm responding to the question posted on Laffer/Funk's 8th grade PSA design.
The idea of the winch instead of a simple pulley system was so that the
PSA could move up and down independently from its front and back motions.
Also, though the counter-weight was included in our design to simulate
micro-gavity, the K-nex chain that we used as our winch cable couldn't
support the weight of an extra weight. It also couldn't carry the 'PSA'
front/back at the same time as up/down, once again because of our weak
chain (this would be made of metal on the ISS). In our design, the up/down
winch was carried on the side-to-side one, which (once again) couldn't
carry it. In microgravity, none of the weight factors would hinder the
mechanics of the winch system; therefore, none of the problems we had
here would actually occur. Hope that clears things up!
All designers may find the dialog helpful that is going on between our
expert Daniel Andrews and New Market Middle School: http://quest.arc.nasa.gov/projects/space/psa04/prelim/index.html
RE: [ Michael_MD ] Why does it have to go for 3
seconds each way wouldn't it have to stop at a certain location?
Hi Michael, The 3 seconds is simply a short version of what would happen
in Microgravity. We are trying to come as close as we can to showing what
would happen in an environment where there is a lot less friction. Hopefully
you can make it move indefinitely (or at least until something stops it).
I will pass your question to our experts, but I know they are really busy
right now, so I thought I'd send an "in the meantime" answer.
RE: [ Tim/Horacio ] WAS our PSA diagram in on time?
why didn't it get shown? our old one that had just a tennis ball and a
9 volt battery was shown on the webcast, we changed our design like Linda
said we could but our new one was not shown on the webcast. we watched
the 11:00, and the 12:30 webcast, but it wasn't there. Thanks anyway!!
Hi Tim & Horacio, Your design was received AFTER the webcast. It is
now online at: http://quest.nasa.gov/projects/space/psa04/final but we
had nothing but your preliminary attempts to put up at the time of the
RE: [ andrewBullyard ] Sorry we've been on Easter
Holidays back today. Yes the spring has proved to be a big problem. If
I have it to tight it wont keep moving If it is to slack it just drops
back. I will have to work on winding up the tension of the supporting
strings I think??
We'd love to post what you come up with when you're done. I'll even try
to get one of the experts to comment on it if I can.
RE: [ thedogontherun/arf ] is there going to be
The design challenge is not a competition. Like the engineers at NASA,
the primary reward to a challenge is the satisfaction of finding some
solutions that work. The classrooms that participated in the evaluation
will receive a tangible thank you for that extra effort that helps us
to improve our online offerings.