The team believes this is the first made-in-Saskatchewan satellite to reach space, and it will remain in orbit for a year collecting radiation data.
“The RADSAT-SK cube satellite began development in spring 2018 with about 20 engineering undergraduate students on board,” said Sean Maw, principal investigator, and Jerry G. Huff, chair in Innovative Teaching in the USask College of Engineering.
“Since then, the project has grown immensely, with hundreds of students involved in some capacity over the years.”
This is part of a Canadian Space Agency program called the Canadian CubeSat Project, which aims to boost interest in science, technology, engineering and mathematics while involving students in real space missions.
“Finding out as a student at USask that I could be a part of a project that would send a research satellite to space was an opportunity that fulfilled one of my life’s earliest goals,” said Dustin Preece, one of the technical project managers.
Preece said the cube satellite project has been a life-changing experience for him and many other students involved.
The satellite will have a dosimeter board made by Li Chen and his team with USask’s electrical and computer engineering, as well as a fungal melanin coating made from Ekaterina Dadachova and her team with the USask College of Pharmacy and Nutrition.
The goal will be to test the feasibility of melanin as a cosmic radiation shielding method in space.