NASA teamed up with high school students to develop a new tape dispenser for the International Space Station orbiting space. Just like it is the case for many here on Earth, on the International Space Station, gray duct tape is a commonly used item for fixing all sorts of problems, including air leaks. However, there was no good way to distribute the tape to the International Space Station, and NASA agreed to high school students to design a new tape dispenser.
Students from five different states worked to create it Solution The tape dispenser is called HUNCH. The name HUNCH stands for high school students united with NASA to create the devices. The program is a national program that challenges students to design and build equipment that can be launched and used on board the International Space Station. HUNCH is in its 18th year, and so far, students have designed cabinets, handrails, utensils and a kitchen table for the staff to dine in.
The program has also created some of the food items astronauts have eaten in the past. The HUNCH dispenser can be operated with one hand, which is vital on board the International Space Station because astronauts often use the other hand for stability. Before the HUNCH dispenser, rolls of duct tape and Kapton high temperature tape were stuck on the edge of work areas or on handrails and other places within reach.
Cutting the tape from the cylinder required scissors, or sometimes the astronauts tore the material out with their teeth. Astronauts on the space station use ready-made dispensers for scotch tape, but the larger dispensers for duct tape and Kapton’s table lack the conductors required for use on board the station.
Crew members aboard the International Space Station said the HUNCH dispenser is rapidly walking down the guide rails inside the space station, and it is easy to see that the rail is locked into place. The dispenser can be used with one hand. NASA currently uses more than 20 different duct tape on board the International Space Station, with duct tape and Kapton tape being the most popular.