MSU students in conjunction with the University of New Hampshire have successfully launched two satellites into Earth’s orbit. The launch took place at 7:22 a.m. on Jan. 31 after being delayed from the originally scheduled launch date on Jan. 29. The trip from Earth’s surface into orbit took just under three hours. MSU is the third university in the nation to produce satellites for orbit.
The satellites launched are the fifth and sixth to be put into orbit by the MSU team, bringing the total number of MSU satellites currently orbiting the planet to three. David Klumpar, director of MSU’s Space Science and Engineering Laboratory values the chance that students have at MSU to be a part of such programs as these satellite launches. “The opportunity our MSU students have to design and build sophisticated space flight hardware, get it launched on a NASA mission, and then actually operate their own satellite once it’s in space adds an incredibly important element to their education not available at most universities,” he said of the launches.
NASA has had it’s eyes on MSU’s satellite program as of late and broadcast a program on its TV station NASA EDGE after the launch. The program included footage of the CubeSats, the name of the type of satellite put into orbit as well as interviews with Klumpar, research engineer Keith Mashburn and four students or graduates from MSU that were involved with the development of the satellites. The program was aired on NASA TV at NASA headquarters in Washington D.C. as well as at all NASA facilities in the United States.