UCF students building satellite destined for space

Friday, 13 October 2017, 06:22:24 AM. Students getting real-world experience with satellite build

University of Central Florida researchers and their students have started to build a small satellite that will head into space next year to study the process that forms planets.

In 2015, NASA funded the project, known as Q-PACE, or CubeSat Particle Aggregation and Collision Experiment.

The small satellite, which falls into a class called CubeSats, will conduct more than 100 experiments while in orbit, with the work expected to be documented using a high-speed camera.

The date and vehicle to be used for the launch has not been finalized yet.

NASA’s website says the launch will happen no earlier than December but a release sent by UCF said it would happen in 2018.

Among the experiments will be low-velocity particle collision in space, which will help reseachers learn about early planet development.

A ground station that’s also being built by UCF students will then receive the images for further study.

The experiment gives students a chance for hands-on experience with launches and space-based research, Physics Professor Joshua Colwell said.

“We are always looking for ways to give students practical experience,” he said in a release. “Our experiments will give us valuable data to help us unravel the mystery of how planets formed in our solar system and around other stars. They are contributing to real science.”

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