ST. LOUIS – Hard work and determination have paid off for two students at Lindbergh High School as they are part of an elite group of 80 worldwide chosen to send a science experiment into space.
Biraj Pokhrel and Dylan Rice began their work in 2019 as eighth-graders at Sperreng Middle School in their Design Time class. Now as freshmen, their experiment is about to take flight aboard a rocket.
“Our experiment here is to test the effects of space travel or suborbital flight and the effect of it on 3D printer plastic filament just to see if it does anything weird to the chips,” said Rice.
They identified a problem in space travel after hearing a story about an astronaut that fixed an issue in space using duct tape.
“What is a problem that we can fix and it’s like astronauts are breaking tools and then this idea just popped up,” Pokhrel said.
They concluded that it would be beneficial if astronauts could print parts they need on the spacecraft.
“We want to see if plastic, printer plastic specifically, has any negative effects in space because if it doesn’t, we can use that to cheaply print and quickly print out new tools if something breaks or something in space,” Pokhrel said.
“They would basically be able to print that tool again and be able to use it much quicker instead of having to wait for the ground crew to send them a new tool which could take years,” Rice said.
Pending results after the flight, 3d printer plastic could be a great resource in space.
The cubes in space mission will launch on June 24.
“We’re just so thrilled that they’re one of 80 of 400 around the world that was chosen to send their cube into outer space,” said Boeger. “I just think the whole opportunity models for exactly what we’re looking for in Lindbergh for student experiences. We talk about excellence and we talk about designing the future and this is just that.”