Satellite designed by students in Prescott chosen by NASA for launch
PHOENIX – The National Aeronautics and Space Administration has invited a team of students from Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University’s Prescott campus to launch a cube satellite designed at the school.
According to a release, EagleSat-2 was one of 11 proposals selected by NASA to be apart of its CubeSat Launch Initiative, which provides opportunities for cube satellites to be launched in planned spaceflight missions.
EagleSat-2 will be the second satellite launched into space designed by students at Embry-Riddle’s College of Engineering. In November, EagleSat-1 was a secondary payload to a NASA mission that launched a new weather satellite out of California.
“It’s fantastic,” Gary Yale, an Associate Professor of Aerospace Engineering at Embry-Riddle told KTAR News 92.3 FM.
“It means the work that student did in terms of proposing the payload has enough scientific value that NASA would be interested.”
EagleSat-2 will observe and catalog various types of cosmic rays, hoping to learn which particles come from different areas in space. It also has the ability to test which types of computer memory are the most suitable for space.
The satellite has a unique feature of knowing exactly where it is at any moment in time, along with the direction it is facing and the ability to cool or warm itself. The satellite is able to adjust its orientation in space magnetically, making the use of thrusters unnecessary.
According to Yale, the data the satellite collects will be shared with NASA as part of the deal for providing EagleSat-2 the ability to be launched into space.
“What it is that the students are proposing to do is something NASA is interested in and not everybody is selected,” Yale said.
“It means they did a good enough job to make the cut. It’s a real kudos to the effort the students put in.”
The exact date of EagleSat-2’s launch is still unknown, but is expected to take place sometime between 2019 and 2021.
Students are currently in the process of building the cube satellite, which can be followed on the team’s Facebook page.
KTAR News 92.3 FM’s Ali Vetnar contributed to this report.