Quintessence's goal is to innovate and create technology that will be used for the benefit of space exploration.
"Quintessence" is a team of community college students (Alex Miyoshi, Ian Melchor Castorillo, Michelle Yoon, Nashir Janmohamed, and Patrick Babb) that met during a NASA workshop at Armstrong Flight Research Center. They are currently working to complete NASA's Micro-G NExT design challenge. They are to design a prototype for a camera attachment mount and positioning system that would be used by astronauts aboard the International Space Station during Extravehicular Activities. For this design challenge, NASA assumes all financial obligations belong to the individual teams participating in the challenge. We are competing against other teams who are fully or mostly sponsored by their universities and have vastly more resources at their disposal.
The team's task for the first round of the challenge was to design and test a prototype (affectionately named CLaMP, for Camera Locking and Mobile Positioning System) and write a proposal detailing the intricacies of their design, the process of building it, and their planned outreach in support of their design and NASA at large.
Quintessence's proposal was approved by the selection committee, and they were was selected as one of 24 teams to continue working on their design to create a final proof of concept. The CLaMP will be tested by NASA divers over the span of one week test session at Johnson Space Center in Houston, Texas in the simulated microgravity environment of NASA’s 6.2 million gallon indoor pool (the Neutral Buoyancy Laboratory) where astronauts train for spacewalks.
If Quintessence's tool is well received during the test session at Johnson Space Center, they will get the opportunity to present the CLaMP at Ames Research Center in Silicon Valley, with the aim of getting their tool into space to be used by astronauts aboard the International Space Station.