Our team learned we passed Code Review and were invited to attend Test Week at Johnson Space Center alongside nine other university teams trying to tackle the same design challenge... or so we thought! 

Day 1Abbie, Radeef, Ramil and Philip at Test Week

We arrived to Houston a day before we were scheduled to be there so we were fully rested and ready to go. The first day of Test Week we started by checking into the education center located in Space Center Houston. Pro Tip for future teams: Use this time to get to know the other teams. It will feel awkward at first because each team sits with their own team at a table and no one is talking to each other but the sooner you start communicating with other students, the sooner you will feel comfortable and confident in what you are doing.


Day 2Group tour of Johnson Space Center

We had a ton of special treatment by NASA while we were in Houston but one of our favorite experiences was the private tram tours we got on day 2. We were given our own tour before hours, so there were no crowds and we had extra time to explore and learn about what goes on! 


NASA Rock Yard testing with Amanda Smith

We wrapped up Team photos around noon that day and had time to polish up any additional code and work on our final presentation before we got ready to head to the Rock Yard for the first night of testing. Pro Tip: Always carefully read every document the NASA SUITS team sends you. We weren't the only team, but we completely missed an important "to-do" that they were expecting to be coded into our program. Luckily this is why we tested twice.


Day 3Poster Session

One of the first activites we did to kick-off day 3 was a poster session in Space Center Houston. We had a bit of practice pitching our research at GRASP but this was different since our audience was the general public with people ranging from NASA Employees to 3rd Graders on a day-trip with their family! After the poster session, the afternoon was filled with a NASA SUITS alumni panel session and keynote speaker.


Day 4Galveston Beach NASA SUITS team

We had Sunday off to rest and recover. We went to the Rock Yard to test our newly added updates and as soon as we realized they worked.. we headed to the beach! (Check out our instagram to see more!)


Day 5NASA Mentors Lunch

Day 5 we had the chance to meet up for lunch with our NASA Mentors, Amanda Smith and Ryan Amick, both of which are Wichita State University Alumni. Although we had been in conversation with them and getting feedback since August, this was the first time we had the opportunity to get to know them on a more personal level. Ryan and Amanda shared how they got to where they are now, and gave us tips for getting the most out of our college experience. We ended the evening with our final testing at the Rock Yard. This round went MUCH smoother, and we got some special attention from the NASA Communications Team with an invite to collaborate with them on a future project. (Stay tuned for more info on that coming August 2022!)


Day 6Final presentation

Our last day in Houston was spent preparing for the final exit pitch of the NASA SUITS Challenge. All the teams had the opportunity to share their design with the students from the other schools, NASA Mentors, and a panel of judges that included Astronaut Kathleen Rubins!  (Watch our Exit Pitch Here)