McMaster University miniature satellite bound for space

A research team at McMaster University designed and built this detector to be launched into space where it will measure and track astronauts' exposure to radiation. David De La Harpe / Global News

It’s an out of this world opportunity for a team of McMaster researchers.

The team has designed and built a satellite, roughly the size of a loaf of bread, that will be launched into space in 2021 by the Canadian Space Agency, likely on a Falcon Rocket.

The project is the brainchild of radiation sciences graduate Andrei Hanu, who notes that the satellite will measure the nature and properties of radiation that astronauts are exposed to during spacewalks.

Once in space, data from the satellite will beam to the ground and be collected and analyzed by researchers each time it passes over the Hamilton university’s campus.

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Hanu says he’s very optimistic that astronaut’s health will be better protected during future “successful missions to the moon and Mars” as a result of the work.

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He adds that “there’s a gap in our knowledge of the nature and the properties of radiation,” even after 60 years of space exploration.

The McMaster proposal is one of 15 chosen by the Canadian Space Agency to participate in the Canadian CubeSat project.

Approximately 40 graduate and undergraduate students have worked on the satellite.

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