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05 февраля 2018, 10:20

Teens Join Team Rocket, Team Groot for ISS Research Challenge

Stay on target

Two Guardians of the Galaxy are taking a break from the cosmic garrison to inspire a new generation of scientists.

CASIS (Center for the Advancement of Science in Space) recruited Rocket and Groot for a STEM contest aimed at American students ages 13 to 18.

The Guardians of the Galaxy Space Station Challenge encourages teens to think outside of the Earth-based box and propose an experiment—considering the superheroes’ individual powers—to test on the ISS.

Whether you’re Team Groot (plant biology) or Team Rocket (technology development), CASIS wants to hear your ideas: All entries must be submitted by Jan. 31; two flight concepts will be chosen as official ISS National Lab investigations, launching to the space station this year.

“Both Rocket and Groot have characteristics that are researched onboard the ISS daily,” Kenneth Shields, CASIS director of operations and educational opportunities, said in a statement. “To allow students to propose experiments based on their favorite superheroes will be an exciting way to engage our nation’s youth about STEM principles and the space station.”

Nearly 40 years after their debut in “Marvel Super-Heroes” #18, the fictional spacefaring team—Star-Lord, Rocket Raccoon, Quasar, Adam Warlock, Gamora, Drax the Destroyer, Groot—resurfaced in 2008’s “Annihilation: Conquest” #6.

But the pages of comic books couldn’t hold them, and in 2014 a feature film based on the group (minus Quasar and Adam Warlock) was released, ensuring the Guardians’ place in pop culture history.

Cybernetically modified Rocket Raccoon and tree-like humanoid Groot are no strangers to space: In 2016, the famous pair adorned the annual ISS National Laboratory mission patch.

Now, they’re hoping to embolden young researchers by facing off in the Space Station Challenge.

The contest is divided into two opportunities: Team Rocket focuses on materials sciences, engineering, and enabling technology development, while Team Groot is devoted to biological and regenerative science concepts.

As part of the submission process, students must explain their flight experiment proposal—specifically, how microgravity has the potential to enhance findings outside of Earth’s forces of attraction.

Two winning concepts will be housed in a NanoRacks NanoLab and Space Tango’s TangoLab facilities, currently flying aboard the ISS.

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Source: https://www.geek.com/science/teens-join-team-rocket-team-groot-for-iss-research-challenge-1727680/?source=science