The satellite, called CAPE-3, carries a chip designed and built by students at the
“The detectors would provide liquid crystal display readings so astronauts could constantly monitor how much radiation they’re being exposed to,” Dr.
The satellite also carries a tiny Geiger counter so students can tell whether the chip is accurate.
Each side of the satellite is only 10 centimetres – less than 4 inches – across. It was among 10 launched
Eight of the other nine were built by students at other schools. The tenth was built by NASA, which runs the CubeSat Launch Initiative to give non-profit organizations and schools at all levels a chance to do scientific investigations in space and help NASA with exploration and technology development. At least one “nanosatellite” was built by an elementary school.
This is Louisiana-Lafayette’s third satellite launched as part of the program. The school’s program is called CAPE, for the Cajun Advanced Picosatellite Experiment program aimed at preparing students for careers in science, technology, engineering and mathematics.
The CAPE-1 satellite was built to show that the student team could design and build a satellite that could send radio signals back and could respond to signals sent from Earth. It was monitored for four months after its launch in 2007.
CAPE-2, launched in 2013, had fold-out solar panels, a text-to-speech transmitter and a “parrot repeater” that could record audio from Earth and broadcast it back to the sender. Another feature lets visitors to a children’s museum hear their own voices coming back on a radio, as well as send text messages to the satellite. It was monitored for 11 months.
Then CAPE team members and students majoring in areas including computer science, electrical engineering, mechanical engineering and physics will begin collecting and analyzing the information.
CAPE team member
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