The launch of a satellite designed and built by Taylor University students is being delayed indefinitely. This marks the second time a launch has been scrubbed. It was slated to be sent into orbit Sunday. March 27, 2014
UPLAND, Ind. – The launch of a SpaceX rocket bearing a small satellite designed and built by Taylor University engineering students has been delayed a second time. Word was received this morning that the launch, scheduled for March 30, has been delayed indefinitely due to issues with range and tracking equipment.
The original launch, scheduled for March 16, was scrubbed due to issues with the SpaceX Dragon spacecraft.
According to Dr. Hank Voss, Taylor physics professor and the project's principal investigator, launch postponements are not unusual due to the myriad of factors required for a safe, successful launch. He and other Taylor faculty, staff and students still plan to attend the launch once a date is set.
When it flies, the Taylor satellite, or CubeSat, will be carried aloft 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.
The launch 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