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U of I grad becomes first non-NASA employee to host NASA Tumblr answer time

Posted at 3:34 PM, Jun 04, 2021
and last updated 2021-06-04 17:38:53-04

MAGIC VALLEY — A recent University of Idaho grad will be the first non-NASA employee to host their Tumblr answer time.

“I think that everyone in STEM would love to work for NASA, it's just so cool," Hannah Johnson, recent University of Idaho grad, said.

The question and answer segment will include opportunities for people nationwide to ask Johnson questions on a variety of different topics. She also says it's an opportunity for her to encourage other students to apply for opportunities with NASA.

“It’s really incredible, it's such a cool opportunity and I’ve had so many cool networking opportunities through this whole experience, just being able to work with NASA to work with the company that’s facilitating our experiment," Johnson said.

After a nationwide competition, Johnson and her team were one of five selected to have their projects sent to space as part of their SPOCS program, which allows building research focusing on bacterial resistance in space.

"Our team here was doing such great work that the SPOCS team reached out to us and asked if someone would like to do this NASA Tumblr answer time. So the team of course jumped at the opportunity. We took a vote because only one student could be featured and Hannah was selected by her peers to be the team representative,” Matthew Bernards, Director of Idaho Space Grant Consortium, said.

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Thanks to the encouragement of Bernards the team applied, and to their surprise were selected. The project will be tested in space this December.

“We had an advisor that had been working on these polymers that had shown promising bacteria resistance in gravity and he came up to us as it was our senior project and said hey guys you should submit a proposal to where you can test these polymers in microgravity on the ISS," Johnson said.

Hannah will host the Tumblr answer time alongside a NASA employee in case they receive any NASA-related questions.

“One crazy thing is they told us we would be seen by one point three million people approximately, but on the day it was posted I found out it had 46.6 million views. I mean it was incredible to see those kinds of numbers and see that many people read about our project," Johnson said.

To see updates on the group's project, you can visit their blog.