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Falak's Blog

Bio: Falak V. is in ninth grade at American High School in Fremont. She participated in the ISS: Quest for Space in 2019 through Violet Purple Computer Learning and saw her project launch to the ISS in March 2019. She likes to read, wrestle, draw, and watch scientific documentaries. One day she hopes to be an astrophysicist.

Face-to-face with Falak V.

Hello, my name is Falak. My project was ISS Quest for Space, Level 2. I had a lot of fun while executing the experiment. We started with a basic understanding of thermodynamics, the ISS, and gravity to help build the experiment. The experiment itself is about convection on Earth versus microgravity. Getting the experiment ready caused me to learn a multitude of new skills, like how to make a flowchart for code and how to build a circuit. To learn how to build a circuit, I first had to learn how to electricity works and how it flows. Using a breadboard, I learned how to build basic circuits and then more complex circuits. To learn to code, I did not immediately start with the code on a screen. First, we started with intuitive blocks to help learn how code works to begin with. Then, we worked with the LEGO Mindstorms program. I wrote code for the experiment and I tested it for bugs. When it was run, it worked, but later we found out that we could not heat the experiment for five minutes at a time. So, we had to go back and redo the code and the experiment. It went smoothly, but I was slightly annoyed.

The reason I decided to join this program is because I like space and learning new things. Ever since I was in elementary school, I loved to learn about space. The first instance of my fascination with space started with an old book called The Solar System. Even when I couldn’t read, I would just look at the planets and try to understand it. For fun, I used to watch documentaries about space and how it works. When I grow up, I want to become an astrophysicist. I remember, one time, an astrophysicist came to a nearby library. My mom took me and I loved it the entire time. It really solidified the idea of becoming an astrophysicist. My scientist idol is Neil DeGrasse Tyson. He is one of the reasons I enjoyed learning about outer space and science in general. Learning about how things works differently in space is crucial.

This experiment will benefit humanity because learning how heating works in microgravity will allow us to better design for spacecraft. Currently, there is an issue of overheating electronics on the ISS. Understanding how heating works differently in space will enable us to come up with a solution. Furthermore, understanding how heating works may allow us to conserve energy. A portion of power aboard the ISS goes towards heating and cooling. If we better understood how the thermodynamics in microgravity worked, we could take advantage of that and reduce the power consumed.

Overall, this experience was exciting and novel. It provided skills that I never would have learned within school. In an increasingly technological society, learning these skills will help you succeed. One thing is that I was working alone for most of the experiment. I wish more people had come and I could have learned more than I already did. I hope to learn more and reach greater heights.

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