Students at the University of Manitoba have debuted a satellite that’s set to launch into space in just a few months.
The satellite is only about the size of a milk carton but it’s the result of years of precise engineering. It’s called the CubeSat — nicknamed Iris — and students have been working on it for over four years.
In June, it will launch on the SpaceX rocket from Cape Canaveral up to the International Space Station and the cameras inside will take pictures to see how their colours change when exposed to space radiation.
“The astronauts will unpack it from the Dragon capsule, they’ll put it into a special deployer, and they’ll open up the window and shoot it out of the space station for us,” said Philip Ferguson, project lead.
On top of lots of hard work by college students, some middle schoolers also got involved in designing the sundial for the payload — a little stick that shows what direction the sun is shining on the samples.
“They were completely excited that they get to do real-world science in real time and that something they made is actually going into space. And it’s gonna be part of history.” said Maria Nickel, teacher at the Interlake School Division.
“And we’ll be eagerly waiting in our ground station for Iris to say, ‘I’m here, I’m in space and I’m healthy'”
— with files from Global’s Katherine Dornian