The deployment of a satellite composed by a student put on hold

Students of the University of Georgia have completed their research satellite development and are waiting for the green light to deploy it to space. The institution conducted a trial launch of the Spectral Ocean Color (SPOC) satellite, which they called off a few minutes after takeoff.

The satellite will be part of the Antares rocket that will be departing from the Wallops Flight Facility in Virginia. This satellite’s purpose is to observe the marine life on the US coastal line.  The satellite will be instrumental in the research by UGA and other marine agencies. The satellite’s optic system will enable it to magnify the aperture of the coastline and send alerts when something poisonous enters the ocean due to industrial and economic activities.

UGA’s Small Satellite Research Lab professor, Deepak Mishra, explained that this satellite is a product of the partnership between aggressive students and professional researchers at UGA. Mishra explained that the students utilized their skills for this project while the researchers handed them a scientific vision to pursue. 

Mishra explained that the students incorporated their skills and labor in the project throughout the past the coronavirus pandemic. She added that the researchers were there to give their prospects and guidance on research development.

The students explained that they sought for something challenging to pursue and give solutions from scratch. The UGA researchers facilitated this prospect by guiding through the production process and giving out pointers since they know about satellite development.

Mishra divulged that NASA saw their research had potential and decided to support the prospect by securing them a rideshare opportunity on one of the international rockets. The research lab developing the satellite has been expanding, with more students registering for classes and gaining practical skills in engineering and projectiles’ physics.

The program has graduated some of the students into space engineering and technology, with some of them pursuing internships at NASA’s research center in Silicon Valley. Nevertheless, the project has also encountered challenges ranging from malfunctions to postponement of test flights.

Additionally, the coronavirus outbreak put more operations on hold, considering that the engineers and students had to follow the measures proposed to curb the virus’s spread. Currently, operations have resumed, with few students being at the research centers and others observing and learning via zoom meetings.

To sum up, NASA stated that the UGA students have an opportunity to chip into their programs with their ideas, provided they are relevant. The agency also plans to display launch operations for students to learn more details and rectify where they view amendments will be tolerable.


By Christopher Stern

Christopher Stern is a Washington-based reporter. Chris spent many years covering tech policy as a business reporter for renowned publications. He has extensive experience covering Congress, the Federal Communications Commission, the Federal Trade Commission, and other federal agencies. He is a graduate of Middlebury College.
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