The Sandbox Initiative was started with the intention of providing students with the opportunity for creative, individual, and exploratory work. While the other Bruin Space projects are firmly structured with deliverable schedules and annual goals, Sandbox is intentionally designed without strict expectations to give members access to an alternative work environment. Through Sandbox students are able engage in a variety of self-guided projects, including, but not limited to, NASA competitions, experiment proposals, and educational workshops. Future plans for Sandbox include the procurement and build of the desktop satellite training tool EYASSAT, submitting a proposal for an ISS experiment as part of the Student Spaceflight Experiments Program, and more. Sandbox is intended for students of any skill level, with projects that are easy to engage in with no prior knowledge.
In Fall 2016, three Bruin Space Sandbox teams submitted proposals for the NASA Micro-g NExT competition -- a program run through NASA Microgravity University challenging undergraduate students to design a tool for astronauts to use in a microgravity environment. In just under one month at the start of Fall Quarter 2016, Bruin Space members independently formed teams, sought out UCLA faculty support, and designed tools to propose for this challenge.
On December 8th, NASA Johnson announced that 32 teams from 29 schools had their proposals accepted and would have the opportunity to fabricate their proposed tool and travel to the Neutral Buoyancy Lab in Huston, Texas to test their device alongside NASA engineers and astronauts. Thanks to the hard work put in by our very own surface sampling and subsurface sampling device teams, one of those 29 schools is UCLA.