HUNCH Sewn Flight Articles, also known as Softgoods, is a program using fabric and other soft materials to create goods requested by different NASA centers as well as the International Space Station Astronaut Crew. This can range from redesigning the crew pantry to creating kits for the Crew’s personal items. Softgoods provides a unique design opportunity as using various materials to keep the crew not only safe but clean and comfortable aboard their stay.
Much of our output goes to items for training purposes. By creating high fidelity training goods we can give the Astronaut Crew a more realistic simulation while they are on the ground. These products range from items we’ve designed through Design and Prototyping and had flown up to the International Space Station as well as items that already exist aboard the International Space Station such as Cargo Bags. This range of items allows schools with different skill levels to all participate so that no one is denied the chance to create.
Since most items are built to drawing specifications they need to show the highest quality output possible from our schools. We teach students about quality assurance best practices so that they learn to expect quality from all of the items they create. They are also shown proper safety documentation throughout the process making them more accountable for their output insuring tractability from start to finish. We want to insure that all HUNCH products meet the highest quality standards possible so that student work has the best chance of reaching the International Space Station.
Johnson Space Center
- Program Manager- Marcie Dickson- firstname.lastname@example.org
- Texas-Lee Hansen- email@example.com
Kennedy Space Center
- Florida- Lisa Passarelli- firstname.lastname@example.org
Glenn Research Center
- North East- Nancy Hall- email@example.com
Projects Flown to the International Space Station
- Cargo Transfer Bags
- Astronaut Crew Quarters Organizer
- Food Pantry System
- Astronaut Foot-Pad
- Multi Purpose Hygiene Covers
- Hygiene Privacy Curtain
- Zero-g Stowage Rack (ZSR) Covers
- U.S. Sleeping Bag Liners
Used to pack everything from camera equipment to clothing items Cargo Transfer Bags (CTB) are used all over the station and on the ground. HUNCH creates high fidelity training items for the mock up facility at Johnson Space Center as well as others across the nations to make practicing tasks easier.
As part of a group effort by many schools and teams HUNCH has helped to rebuild the dining facility on board the Space Station. With the Galley Table and the food pantry builds we also made new ZSR pannels to cover the racks surrounding the whole area; making them easier to clean as well as giving a face lift to a well loved area for the crew. Made by Clear Lake High School these panels have vastly improved life on board.
Starting as a Design project at Clear Creak High School HUNCH was tasked with re designing the food pantry systems that were on orbit as they moved away from single use food items to bottled items such as condiments as well as making it more space efficient to the boxes used to store food. With the initial design concept settled the project moved to Oak Ridge High School for the Softgoods team to develop further. Now that new system includes 6 different components to make the system more efficient to pack and use on orbit.
Living in zero gravity comes with many physical changes to the body and how one moves through space. One way the crew anchors themselves when working is to hook their feet through the handrail bars, however this often damages their feet in the long term. Working as design project many different schools came up with solutions, from adding padding to socks to developing slippers for the crew to use. Once the final design came about it was brought to Softgoods to manufacture. It may seem to be a simple project but it offers students a great opportunity to directly effect the lives of the crew.
These kits are part of a project to create new lint catchers for the US Crew Quarters. Designed to make cleaning easier for the crew these will also help with the long term livability of the Station.
PMM Covers- 10
The Permanent Multipurpose Module is one of the areas where the astronauts are able to clean themselves and often they “shower” in this space. Used for storage of equipment, experiments, and supplies it is one of the most frequently used areas of the Station. Since the astronauts use it to keep themselves clean it was important for them to have some privacy. With these covers they can have their privacy and have an easier to clean space to wash up in. Made of Goretex the covers are water and flame resistant so that they keep the space cleaner and safer.
Much like how everyone needs a way to organize their personal space at home the crew need to be able to organize their Crew Quarters on board. Going from the Design program to Softgoods the organizer saw development by many different students and eventually being manufactured at Oak Ridge High School. With small pockets for personal items, a windowed pocket for photos and documents and a larger pocket to hold clothing the organizer helps keep an already tight space tidy for the crew.
Sleeping Bag Liner
With the new commercial crew vehicles becoming the main mode of transportation for US Astronauts there came a need for a new sleeping bag design. Previously the astronauts would have been given one as part of their Soyus flight. This gave NASA an opportunity to create an updated sleeping bag that takes into consideration many of the crews comments about previous sleeping conditions as well as give the bag an update as it goes to long duration missions such as the mission to Mars. HUNCH was brought in to create the liners for these new bags. Much like changing your sheets at home you have to change them in Space, however you can’t wash your sheets up there. HUNCH provided nearly 100 liners so that the crew could change their sheets more often making life more comfortable as long term space exploration becomes more of a reality. After a year of work to develop the sewing process at Cypress Ridge High School the final group was built by a joint effort between Cypress Ridge and Oak Ridge High Schools.