USST’s STARFOX team finalists in microgravity challenge

SASKATOON—The University of Saskatchewan Space Team (USST) is one of four from Canadian universities to be selected as finalists for the Students for the Exploration and Development of Space latest initiative.

Project STARFOX’s (Spinning Terrestrial Analog Regolith Filtering Operation eXperiment) proposal in the the Canadian Reduced Gravity Experiment Design Challenge (CAN-RGX), aims to better understand the dynamics of mineral screening in a microgravity environment, through altering existing terrestrial techniques of mineral screening and separations. 

The project offers students a unique opportunity to get involved in the development of a scientific experiment and test it in a weightless environment, similar to that experienced by astronauts in orbit.

Two mission specialists from the Project STARFOX team will have the opportunity to test a small scientific payload onboard the National Research Council of Canada’s Falcon 20 research aircraft. They will conduct low gravity experiments to study the dynamics of mineral screening and separation in a microgravity environment.

“This team is so excited about the news that our proposal has been approved,” said Adam Lozinsky, second-year engineering physics student, and project lead, of STARFOX. “The experiment is ambitious but approachable. It is the right combination of achievable and interesting."

The team must now complete the preliminary design review scheduled for late February.

We will present to a panel of judges including experts in microgravity flight sciences from CAN-RGX’s collaborating agencies,” said Lozinsky.

After finalizing their design, the team will have six weeks to build their experiment in order to submit the next milestone, the Critical Design Review.

“The remainder of this project is structured like a space mission with a number of design reviews and consultation milestones we need to meet,” said Lozinsky. “We need to pass all of the milestones to do the final flight, but the goal of CAN-RGX is to help us meet those requirements, not exclude people based on them.”

“Congratulations to the USST Project STARFOX team,” said Bruce Sparling, associate dean academic in the College of Engineering. “This is an incredible opportunity for the students to enhance their skills and realize their future potential in the space sector.”

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To arrange interviews, contact:

Marielle Gauthier
Communications Officer
College of Engineering
University of Saskatchewan
306 966-7924

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