Four students from Virginia universities really are “out of this world” and they’re proving it with the opportunity to fly a constellation of small satellites. The opportunity was part of an award from the NASA Undergraduate Student Instrument Program
Here’s what’s going to happen: three nano-satellites, each about 4 inches square and weighing roughly 3 pounds, will be developed and instrumented to get measurements for different qualities about the Earth’s atmosphere. One satellite will be developed at ODU, one at Virginia Tech, and one at UVa.
These tiny satellites will decay as they orbit, and that information will be interpreted to understand more about atmospheric density.
Student leaders and team members will consist of undergraduate students in the disciplines of physics, electrical engineering, aerospace engineering, mechanical engineering and chemical engineering from several universities.. A UVa student will serve as the Team Leader, an ODU student as Science Principal Investigator and a Virginia Tech Student as the Chief Technologist. The students have 18 months to complete their work and deliver the satellites to NASA for launch.
Congratulations to all of these students, especially the contributors here at ODU and Virginia Cubesat Constellation mission partners Hampton University, for their hard work on this project.