Look to the Skies

NASA will “rocket” tonight! (NASA)

Those of you who live along the East Coast of the United States should look to the heavens this evening around 7:30 p.m. That’s when NASA plans to launch 29 satellites into orbit from their Wallops Flight Facility in Virginia.

The primary payload is the Air Force’s Space Test Program Satellite-3, but the other 28 are quite different. They’re nanosatellites called CubeSats—little four-inch cubes that weigh only a few pounds—and one of them wasn’t even built by NASA engineers.

It was created over a seven-year period by students at the Thomas Jefferson High School for Science and Technology in Alexandria, Virginia—the first satellite built by high-school students and launched into space in history.

Incidentally, if any of you students are reading this, don’t forget to put this on your resume and EVERY college application you submit… as if you needed reminding.

A typical CubeSat (Morten Bisgaard)

The TJ3Sat (as it is known) will allow students and others to send and receive data and to submit text strings to a website—kind of like Satellite Twitter.

Pretty cool, huh?

So set your cell phone alarms, jot a note on a Post-It or start preparing your NASA launch party now, folks.

Three more hours and counting!

Posted on November 19, 2013, in Perspectives and tagged , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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