News / Science & Technology

Satellite Built by High School Students Set to Launch

Asha Punnoose beams next to TJ3Sat, the first CubeSat to be built by high school students and launched into space through NASA's ELaNA program.
Asha Punnoose beams next to TJ3Sat, the first CubeSat to be built by high school students and launched into space through NASA's ELaNA program.

Related Articles

Video US Launches New Mars Mission

Scientists hope the mission will tell them what happened to Mars' atmosphere billions of years ago

Video Detailed Forest Change Mapped

World lost 2.3 million square kilometers of forest between 2000 and 2012 and gained 800,000 square kilometers

Google to Remove Image of Dead Body

Kevin Barerra was shot in 2009 near railroad tracks
VOA News
A satellite built by U.S. high school students is set to be launched tonight - a first for the U.S. space agency, NASA.

The launch of the privately built Minotaur rocket will carry 29 tiny satellites, known as nanosatellites - or cubesats, into orbit in a scheduled launch at 0030 GMT.

The Orbital Sciences Corporation rocket is launching as an Air Force test program, carrying small satellites. One is an ordinary smartphone NASA converted and another was built by students at Thomas Jefferson High School in Alexandria, Virginia.

The launch marks the first time NASA will launch a cubesat developed by students not yet in college.

"The advancements of the cubesat community are enabling an acceleration of flight-qualified technology that will ripple through the aerospace industry," said Jason Crusan, director of Advanced Exploration Systems, the office that oversees the Cubesat Launch Initiative at NASA Headquarters in Washington. "Our future missions will be standing on the developments the cubesat community has enabled."

According to the Thomas Jefferson High School website about the satellite, known as TJ3Sat, the payload, will allow “students and other amateur radio users the opportunity to send and receive data from the satellite.”

“Onboard the satellite a Text Speak module is used to convert text messages into an analog voice signal,” said the website. “Students and other users from around the world can submit text strings to be uploaded to the TJ3Sat website. Approved text strings will be transmitted to the satellite and the resulting voice interpretation will be relayed back to Earth over an amateur radio frequency using the onboard Stensat radio.”

Since 2010, the cubesat Launch Initiative has issued four announcements of opportunity and selected more than 90 cubesats from public and private institutions and government labs to launch as auxiliary payloads aboard commercial rockets. The cube-shaped satellites are approximately four inches long per unit, have a volume of about one quart and weigh less than three pounds. Cubesat research addresses science, exploration, technology development, education or operations.

More than 300 students took part in this fourth installment of NASA’s cubesat Launch Initiative and it’s Educational Launch of Nanosatellite (ELaNa) Missions, which enables students, teachers and faculty to obtain hands-on flight hardware development experience.

You May Like

Nearly 900 Dead, Missing in 2014 Air Disasters

Southeast Asia took a particularly heavy hit; 3 major events involved weather, two planes were shot down in eastern Ukraine, and one crash was attributed to mechanical problems More

Video Islamic State Emergence Transformed Syria, Iraq in 2014

'It was very clear that there were problems building up in Iraq at the end of 2013 but everybody was distracted by Syria,' says one expert, explaining group's rapid rise More

Rights Group: IS Executed Nearly 2,000 in Syria in 6 Months

Islamist group also killed 120 of its own members, most foreign fighters trying to return home, in past two months, according to Syrian Observatory for Human Rights More

This forum has been closed.
Comment Sorting
Comments
     
by: Bob Dylan from: Somewhere over the rainbo
November 20, 2013 6:01 PM
Except the satellite burns up after 2-4 years so it doesn't become space junk...


by: Anonymous
November 20, 2013 3:33 AM
Too bad they are teaching students the wrong thing. Space junk is a serious concern. Littering in space is a serious problem.

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Russians Head Into Holiday Facing Economic Malaisei
X
Daniel Schearf
December 25, 2014 4:34 PM
Russian preparations for the New Year holiday are clouded by economic recession and a tumbling currency, the ruble. Nonetheless, people in the Russian capital appear to be in a festive mood. VOA's Daniel Schearf reports from Moscow.
Video

Video Russians Head Into Holiday Facing Economic Malaise

Russian preparations for the New Year holiday are clouded by economic recession and a tumbling currency, the ruble. Nonetheless, people in the Russian capital appear to be in a festive mood. VOA's Daniel Schearf reports from Moscow.
Video

Video Mombasa in Holiday Tourism Slump Due to Security Fears

Kenya's usually popular beachside tourist destination of Mombasa is seeing a much slower holiday season this year due to fears of insecurity as the country has suffered from a string of terror attacks linked to Somali militants. Mohammed Yusuf reports for VOA on how businessmen and tourists feel about the situation.
Video

Video For Somalis, 2014 Marked by Political Instability Within Government

While Somalia has long been torn apart by warfare and violence, this year one of the country's biggest challenges has come from within the government, as political infighting curtails the country's progress, threatens security gains and disappoints the international community. VOA's Gabe Joselow report.
Video

Video 2014 Saw Intensification of Boko Haram Insurgency

The year 2014 saw Nigerian militant sect Boko Haram intensify its five-year insurgency and target civilians in large numbers as it seized territory in the northeast. The kidnapping of nearly 300 schoolgirls in Chibok in April sparked global outrage, but failed to become the turning point against the sect that Nigeria’s president said it would be. The picture at year's end is one of devastation and uncertainty. VOA’s Anne Look reports.
Video

Video Estimates Rising of Foreign Fighters in Iraq, Syria

Foreign fighters are making more of a mark on the battles raging across Syria and Iraq than initially thought. VOA's Jeff Seldin has more.
Video

Video US Political Shift Could Affect Iran Nuclear Talks

Secretary of State John Kerry’s efforts to resolve Iran’s nuclear crisis are continuing into 2015 after Iran and six world powers failed to agree by a November deadline. U.S. domestic politics, however, could complicate efforts to reach a deal in the new year. VOA State Department correspondent Pam Dockins has the story.
Video

Video NYSE: The Icon of Capitalism

From its humble beginnings in 1792 to its status as an economic bellweather for the world, the New York Stock Exchange is an integral part of the story of America. VOA’s Bernard Shusman reports from Wall Street.
Video

Video Syrian Refugees in Lebanon Fight to Survive Water Crisis

In a region choking from dwindling water supplies, Lebanon has long been regarded as one of the few places where there is enough. But in recent years, half the people in the country have faced severe shortages. And the more than 1 million Syrian refugees in Lebanon are hit the worst by the water crisis, making the country's most vulnerable people increasingly impoverished and sick. Heather Murdock reports for VOA in the Bekaa Valley in Lebanon.

Circumventing Censorship

An Internet Primer for Healthy Web Habits

As surveillance and censoring technologies advance, so, too, do new tools for your computer or mobile device that help protect your privacy and break through Internet censorship.
More

All About America

AppleAndroid