Wolverine Crater opens for research

By | April 1, 2024

As we previously announced, our lunar base at Wolverine Crater was completed on April 1, 2024. This state-of-the art facility is the home of the Michigan Information Technology to Enable Networking in Space (MITTENS) team that deployed MUniverse, the first academic WiFi network in space, for our students, faculty, and staff to take remote learning and working to a whole new level.

An image of the LSA building addition, viewed from the west, with the Cube in the foreground, as if they were actually on the moon. People are walking and cycling as if there were atmosphere.
Wolverine Crater (Achaia Murphy, ITS Communications)

Wolverine Crater can connect to the International Space Station for research projects. Student experiments that have already been scheduled include those investigating the impact of the space environment on the cerebellar system and demonstrating newly-developed transistor radio hardware to enable applications on “dumb” phones.

Student research projects aren’t the only ones running at Wolverine Crater. Faculty projects are being managed as well: LSA’s Department of Astronomy is running the Holistic Astrolunar Telemetry Study (HATS), the Barger Leadership Institute is running Granting Leadership Opportunities in Virtual Environments in Space (GLOVES), and the Office of the Provost and Center for Research on Learning and Teaching (CRLT) are collaborating on the Courses in Original Adaptations in Time Studies (COATS) project.

Outbound trips to Wolverine Crater are on the second Tuesday of the month using the MRocket transportation program. MRocket launches from MSpaceport, located near the Mcity Testing Facility and the U-M Transportation facility on UM-Ann Arbor’s North Campus. Return trips from Wolverine Crater are on the fourth Tuesday of the month.

“We are excited to finally open Wolverine Crater,” said Juan Waytripp, director of the MITTENS team. “We can’t wait to ‘crater’ to your every technology wish, because together we are truly ‘crater’ than the sum of our parts.”

Refer to the Wolverine Crater page for more information, instructions for accessing the MUniverse wireless network, and scheduling your own research experiments with MITTENS.