NASA Challenges: Supporting Tomorrow’s Innovators


We believe in promoting the engineers and innovators of the future, and that mission extends to our interns. The entire MediSurge team loves supporting the amazing work that our team members and interns accomplish.

Recently our intern, Rebecca Jakob, took part in a NASA initiative to develop technology that can explore under the ice-covered surface of Ocean Worlds like Europa and Enceladus. Rebecca’s team, from Grand Valley State University, collaborated with each other and NASA to design and manufacture this technology.

A Lofty Goal

The systems that Rebecca’s team created needed to operate underwater and sample both the surrounding water and any ice-structures in the area. These ice-structures are important because they cou

ld potentially serve as a platform to support microbial life.

In order to effectively research these structures, NASA would need a special end-effector that could attach to the mini arm of a remotely operated vehicle (ROV). Rebecca and her team of engineers designed and created a device that could perform the needed tasks.

Overcoming Obstacles

It might not surprise you that building a machine like this isn’t an easy task. Rebecca and her team encountered several issues early on that they had to overcome.

For example, the initial model of their machine was difficult to manufacture, due to a very complex design. To overcome this challenge, Rebecca worked with MediSurge to 3D print pieces of the machine. By using this technology, the team was able to avoid starting from scratch and were able to utilize the initial design.

Underwater Success

Once the design was completed, the team traveled to Houston, Texas to test their device in the Neutral Buoyancy Lab.

In the end, the final design included resin that contained cyanate ester material. This material has an extremely low absorption rate, which meant that the finished design survived under forty feet of water for over an hour.

students performing hardware testing at the NBL.

MediSurge is incredibly proud of Rebecca and the rest of her team. We’re happy to have been able to support them when they ran into road blocks. Our team knows that the future of our industry and STEM fields relies on upcoming generations, and we’re excited to continue to promote education through initiatives like this.

Do you want to work with a team of innovative individuals? Reach out to us. We can’t wait to hear from you.






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