Montana State University Sends Kids Artwork to Space


The Montana State University currently conducts a study on the development of better computers for NASA, and part of their outreach program is launching into space the logo artwork done by second grade students from the Morning Star Elementary School in Bozeman.

The logo was sent on July 17, 2016 for a six month-long stay at the International Space Station (ISS).

Cheri Jakovac had her class create a mission patch logo for the NASA’s Radiation Tolerant computer Mission on the International Space Station (RTcMISS, which is pronounced “Artemis”)..

Stickers of the mission patch, which contains a rocket, a space station, a parachute, and the Montana University logo, will be placed aboard the SpaceX Falcon 9 resupply rocket.

It was sent into outer space last Sunday, and can be watched on SpaceX webcast.

MSU has been performing studies and projects in an effort to develop more radiation-tolerant computers.

For over ten years, Dr. Brock LaMeres, an associate professor at the Montana State University’s Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering in the College of Engineering, has been looking into the future of technology aimed specifically for NASA purposes.

LaMeres said that future space missions will require better and faster computers, but the radiation is making that near impossible for technology from Earth.

MSU has been trying to come up with solutions, but it’s difficult to conduct exact experiments.

MSU does their testing through a radiation chamber.

The computers researchers have developed are put on high altitude balloons, and are placed in rockets that reach near outer space.

The latest project the university is planning involves sending and putting their computers into space and unto the ISS.

According to LaMeres, this will be the most “rigorous test yet” and is bound to set the threshold for the next upcoming projects.

After this test, which will hopefully bear positive results, LaMeres and his team are planning to use the computers in an actual space environment for a long period of time.

The next project will be done this fall, when the MSU-developed computer will be sent to the International Space Station.

Astronauts on ISS will install it in an experiment locker provided by NanoRacks, a company that provides and markets hardware to space stations.

NASA allows ISS researchers the chance to fly some things to the station and be returned as keepsakes, so NanoRacks reached out to LaMeres about sending a memorabilia related to the MSU project.

LaMeres contacted his daughter’s teacher, Cheri Jakovac, and asked to have the class design a logo for their project.

LaMeres said this was an important opportunity to engage kids in an exciting project related to a STEM career.

He hoped that this would make the children eager or curious to know about or work for a STEM job in the future.

The MSU professor works closely with Connor Julien, a graduate student, Daniel Mills, an electrical engineering senior, and Brandon Klise, a computer engineering second year student.

The three of them visited Jakovac’s class last February to explain the mission.

They showed students examples of mission logos and had them create their own.

Using the common elements from the students’ logos, the researchers came up with the final design.

The logo artwork now contains the acronyms of the Montana Space Grant Consortium, the university’s College of Engineering and Space Science and Engineering Laboratory, and NASA EPSCoR.

Rob Clark admin staff managing editor

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