The Moon RIDERS (Research Investigating Dust Expulsion Removal Systems) program is a one-of-a-kind STEM project engaging Hawaii high school students in a real-life lunar flight experiment to be flown to the surface of the Moon. The project aims to provide a real-world, hands-on STEM and aerospace technology learning opportunity for Hawaii high school students, while advancing space exploration technology for future space missions.
Student robotics teams from `Iolani High School in Honolulu and Kealakehe High School in Kailua-Kona have developed an experiment using NASA’s Electrodynamic Dust Shield (EDS) technology, a system designed to repel the corrosive and abrasive dust found on places like the Moon, Mars and asteroids. The fine dust clings to objects and severely interferes with space equipment like space suits, robotics, camera lenses and solar arrays.
Working in collaboration with mentors at NASA, students have built mock-up spacecrafts outfitted with the EDS and tested their designs at a PISCES planetary analog site on Hawaii Island. Student teams have also used the opportunity to conduct outreach and education events at local schools to inspire younger students to follow in their footsteps. The high school teams are now awaiting confirmation from a Google Lunar XPRIZE Competition team to fly the experiment to the lunar surface by the end of 2017.
MOON RIDERS PARTNERS
- NASA Kennedy Space Center’s SwampWorks
- Hawaii Department of Education
- Google Lunar XPRIZE
- ‘Iolani High School
- Kealakehe High School
Hawaii Governor David Ige Congratulates MoonRIDERS Students
U.S. Rep. Tulsi Gabbard Praises Moon RIDERS as STEM Education Initiative
U.S. Congressional Support for PISCES’ Moon RIDERS Program
“Through this project, these students have the opportunity to make history to become the first high schools to conduct an experiment on the lunar surface. This project is a reminder of the strength of public-private partnerships; that by working togher, we can aspire to greater accomplishments.” – U.S. Senator Mazie K. Hirono (Letter from Sen. Hirono)
“This historic opportunity to participate in our nation’s return to the moon’s surface is the kind of responsible cultivation of Hawaii’s future that ensures that our community continues to be the great place we call home.” – U.S. Representative Mark Takai (Letter from Rep. Takai)
“Moon RIDERS allows students to collaborate with experts and major space research institutions and hone in on their interests and passions.” – U.S. Senator Brian Schatz (Letter from Sen. Schatz)
NASA’s Electrodynamic Dust Shield demonstrated by Dr. Carlos Calle