NASA Delays Taylor Satellite Launch

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The launch of a Taylor University satellite will not take place this weekend as originally planned. The university says an issue with the spacecraft that will carry the satellite into orbit has prompted the delay. NASA says the earliest date for a rescheduled launch is March 31. March 14, 2014

News Release

Update: An issue with the Dragon spacecraft has led to a delay of the SpaceX-3/ELaNa-V launch previously scheduled for Sunday. NASA officials have advised the earliest the launch could be rescheduled is March 31. Details will be posted as they become available.

The launch was to have carried a small satellite designed and built by Taylor University engineering students into space from Cape Canaveral on Sunday, March 16, at 4:14 a.m.

The Taylor satellite, or CubeSat, will be aboard a rocket built by SpaceX and will fly with other small satellites designed and built by Ames Research Laboratory, Colorado Space Grant Consortium, and Cornell University. The satellites were chosen by NASA as part of its ELaNa V (Education Launch of Nanosatellite – 5th launch) program.

When the launch happens, it can be viewed live at http://www.ustream.tv/nasaedge.

CubeSats are a class of research spacecraft called nanosatellites. The cube-shaped satellites are approximately four inches long, have a volume of about one quart and weigh less than three pounds. Taylor’s CubeSat includes instrumentation that will test communications between other satellites and measure plasma in low earth orbit.

Taylor’s CubeSat emerged from a field of 33 designs and proposals fielded by NASA during a nationwide competition. After launch, the CubeSats will conduct technology demonstrations, educational research or science missions.

When Taylor’s satellite flies, it will mark the third such piece of space hardware to fly into space that was designed and built by students in Taylor’s engineering program. Additionally, five Taylor Physics and Engineering students presented the ELEO (Extremely Low Earth Orbit) Satellite Project at the CubeSat Workshop, Small Sat Conference and Air Force Design Review in Logan, Utah. Taylor officials believe a fourth Taylor CubeSat will be approved for flight as part of that program.

According to Principal Investigator Dr. Hank Voss, Taylor was the only university in the competition where the student work was performed exclusively by undergraduate students. Taylor students, faculty and staff have also pioneered the use of weather balloons for near space exploration - a program that has been replicated at numerous universities, secondary schools and businesses.

Source: Taylor University