NASA launch had stowaways

Yesterday’s launch of the NPP satellite also had an interesting payload. Four universities added five small satellites, designed and built by students. The satellites will take pictures, measure radiation, and help to understand how solar storms affect communications equipment, among other things.

From the article, “Two of the hitchhikers, named M-Cubed and RAX-2, were developed by students at the University of Michigan. Students spent four years designing and building the M-Cubed satellite, a technology demonstration mission for NASA built mostly from common hardware-store materials, which will take pictures of the Earth and transmit them over a 9600-baud signal. The RAX-2 satellite, also transmitting data at 9600 baud, will do atmospheric research for the National Science Foundation.”

It’s great to see students involved in such high-profile projects!

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