Space Stations

Voyager Space and HUNCH Program Make Successful Delivery to the ISS Program Crew Provisions

By Keith Cowing
Press Release
Voyager Space
September 28, 2023
Filed under , , ,
Voyager Space and HUNCH Program Make Successful Delivery to the ISS Program Crew Provisions
Inside the International Space Station
Voyager Space

We’re happy to share that the HUNCH program has reached yet another exciting milestone! This summer, HUNCH (High school students United with NASA to Create Hardware) students in the greater Houston area and across the country united with HUNCH summer interns to build and assemble 18 US Hygiene Kits for the International Space Station (ISS) Program Crew provisions.

A program where high school students learn how to design and fabricate products for space, HUNCH has been managed by Nanoracks, part of Voyager’s Exploration Segment, since June of 2021, and to date has welcomed more than 1,700 participating schools and 24,000 students across the country. The HUNCH program and its students have produced and delivered thousands of real space flight assembles to the ISS, where they are now in use.

The HUNCH US Hygiene Kits were designed and developed by HUNCH students upon the request of the ISS Crew Office at the Johnson Space Center. These kits are also fabricated by HUNCH students. They are made up of eight unique and intricate subassemblies consisting of various pockets and special compartments attached to a carrier panel with Velcro strips. Arrangement of the pockets can be customized by each crew member for organization of their personal hygiene items, such as soap, shampoo, toothbrush, hair comb, etc. aboard the ISS. Each new crew member is assigned their own HUNCH US Hygiene Kit as part of their personal mission provisions when they launch to the ISS. Eighteen US Hygiene Kits were delivered to the ISS Cargo Mission Contract (CMC) on August 31, 2023, to support Crew Provisions inventory.

A huge thank you to the high schools who supported this project, as well as the HUNCH soft goods summer interns:

  • Kent State Scholars High School – Salem, OH
  • Oliver Ames High School – Easton, MA
  • Wyoming Indian High School – Ethete, WY
  • Cypress Ridge High School – Houston, TX
  • Cypress Creek High School – Houston, TX
  • Cypress Lakes High School – Katy, TX
  • Bridgeland High School – Cypress, TX
  • Oak Ridge High School – Conroe, TX
  • Hailey Hill
  • Rebecca Neopmnichy
  • Grace Coleman
  • Sonia Garcia
  • Emily Howard
  • Chloe McDonald

“My transformative journey as a student and intern with the HUNCH program has profoundly shaped my life, while simultaneously cultivating a deep passion for learning and teaching, all thanks to the support and inspiration of fellow HUNCH members. My growth during this time has been nothing short of remarkable, as HUNCH has equipped me with invaluable experience in specialised aerospace engineering and fabrication processes, techniques and quality control as well as teaching me the importance of working as a team. I’ve always been very passionate about the constructive process of assembling soft goods, but I was never sure if it was reliable for me to pursue. HUNCH has shown me that a career can be started off out of your passions if you work hard towards it. This immersive, hands-on experience with HUNCH has been truly life changing.”

More thanks go out to our HUNCH soft goods Mentor team, Jennifer Leonard and Phong Do for the exceptional work supporting and mentoring all these students with these projects, and to George Kessler for his continued leadership of the outstanding work being done by HUNCH every day.

The HUNCH program has several focus areas, including hardware manufacturing (design and prototyping as well as actual manufacturing), software development, soft goods sewing, video and media development, and culinary/cooking programs. HUNCH works like an apprenticeship – the programs in the schools teach students these skills and then immediately implement them to produce flight hardware for space. Mentors and experts from HUNCH’s many programs are members of our Exploration team, providing us in-house capabilities from varied disciplines that have been executing this program for years.

We’re sad to see this summer’s students and interns go but are always looking for new school participants and corporate partners. As we always say: It Takes a Planet to Explore the Universe.

If you’re interested in being part of this exciting work, please contact us.

SpaceRef co-founder, Explorers Club Fellow, ex-NASA, Away Teams, Journalist, Space & Astrobiology, Lapsed climber.