Mark-10 is a leading USA manufacturer of force and torque measurement equipment. Since its inception in 1979, Mark-10 has cultivated a proven reputation for innovation; therefore, when they heard that a Franklin (MA) high school needed help with a NASA project, they were only too happy to extend their expertise and donate customised solutions.
Tri-County Regional Vocational Training High School (RVTHS) in Franklin, Massachusetts partnered with NASA to develop a bespoke rotating Zero Gravity Scale as part of the HUNCH (High School Students United with NASA to Create Hardware) program. The scale was meant to make measuring mass in space (or in places with an absence of gravity) easier. Mark-10 donated two of its M7-10 Force Gauges for the initial project.
The two Mark-10 M7-10 Force Gauges were mounted to a spinning platform. A known mass was attached to one indicator, while an unknown mass was connected to the other. The students were able to determine the unknown mass by calculating the ratio of the centripetal force measurements. The Zero Gravity Scale was taken aboard a Zero-G aircraft for testing. The success of the experiment led to an additional challenge: minimising the scale to a fraction of its size for potential use aboard the International Space Station.
To help the students with their new project, Mark-10 donated an additional two miniature MR-04 S-Beam Force Sensors, as well as Mark-10 7i Force/Torque Indicator electronics with custom firmware that automatically calculates and displays the ratio of the two centripetal force measurements. Mark-10’s partnership with the Tri-County High School and NASA ensured the Zero Gravity Scale successfully met the criteria of the project. Florence Gold, Project Manager for NASA HUNCH, had this to say about the partnership:
“The partnerships between schools (Tri-County), government (NASA) and business (Mark-10) form a perfect triangle that is essential to educate and train our future scientists and engineers. We thank Mark-10 for their donations of equipment and expertise, which has led to the tremendous success of the Zero Gravity Scale.”
Please view a selection of Mark-10’s products here. Information about additional/ unlisted instruments is available on request.
Further details regarding NASA’s HUNCH program can be found here.
Information for this blog was gathered using the following source:
- Mark-10, Measuring Mass in a Weightless Environment, last accessed 14 July 2021