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Kansas State Students Win Space Glove Contest

June 1, 1985

WASHINGTON (AP) _ A team of engineering students from Kansas State University won a NASA competition Friday for a spacesuit glove design.

Ideas generated by the contest will be used in designing the next generation of gloves used by astronauts on space walks, and eventually those occupying a space station.

The six Kansas State students defeated finalist teams from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, the University of Oklahoma and Worcester Polytechnic Institute.

″NASA was impressed with all the proposals and wants all the reports,″ said John Lisack Jr., an official of the American Society for Engineering Education, who helped select the finalists.

Nine schools submitted proposals for the competition and the space agency awarded grants of $30,000 to the four finalists to provide engineering students with an opportunity to help solve a real-life design problem.

Space suits used by shuttle astronauts are pressurized to 4.3 pounds per square inch, just under one-third the pressure on Earth and in the shuttle cabin. To avoid getting ″diver’s bends″, astronauts must breathe pure oxygen before putting on the suits to purge their bodies of nitrogen.

To eliminate the need to breathe the oxygen, NASA wants suit pressures of 8 pounds per square inch and needs to redesign gloves that will retain astronauts’ dexterity at that pressure.

The students on the winning team will receive award certificates and a free trip to the next space shuttle launch scheduled for June 17.

They are: Nesby Bolden, Kim Ellis, Jon Held, Janice Huck, Carlyn Solomon and Paul Stephens.

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