Students will design and launch a small cube satellite, with help from the Canadian Space Agency
Yukon College students will be teaming up with students from Aurora College in Inuvik and the University of Alberta to design, build and operate a miniature satellite.
The school is one of 15 colleges and universities selected by the Canadian Space Agency to participate in its “CubeSat” project. The agency has awarded a $250,000 grant for the “YukonSat” project.
“We will be starting from scratch, right from the design process, in collaboration with our partners,” said Alison Anderson, project lead for Yukon College.
The satellite will be about the size of a loaf of bread and will orbit the earth for nine months, starting in 2020 or 2021.
“We got a lot of pitches from different teams around the country to build these tiny satellites,” said Canadian astronaut Jenni Sidey, who is with the Canadian Space Agency.
“They are just larger than a Rubik’s Cube — about 10 centimetres cubed — and on it you can put any kind of instrumentation or whatever you want.”
The cube satellites, or CubeSats as they’re called, are commonly used in low earth orbit for remote sensing or communications.
Sidey says for the participants in the project, it could launch an entire career.
“That’s what we are really hoping for — is that beyond this, these projects and satellites themselves, that we are just getting people involved,” she said.
Anderson says Yukon College is still in the planning stages of what its CubeSat will accomplish in space.
The 15 grants awarded by the Canadian Space Agency range from $200,000 to $250,000. Other northern recipients include Aurora College, and Nunavut Arctic College in collaboration with Western University in Ontario.