University students successfully launch experiments from NASA Wallops

RICHMOND, Va. (WTVR) – On the Eastern Shore of Virginia at Dawn this morning, a group of university students from across the country fulfilled their space flight dream. Experiments they have been working on for the past year were successfully launched on the Terrier-Improved Malemute suborbital sounding rocket at exactly 6 a.m.

Chris Koehler, Director of the Colorado Space Grant Consortium, said, “The goal of the RockSat-X program is to provide students a hands-on experience in developing experiments for space flight. This experience allows these students to apply what they have learned in the classroom to a real world hands-on project.”

“In addition these students are getting practical experience that will assist them as they enter careers in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM),” Koehler said.  Past participants in the program have entered careers within the aerospace industry.

NASA Wallops lists these participants and experiments that flew into space on this morning’s launch:

The university student payload experiments are:

  • Combined Rocksat-X team experiment:  7 HD video cameras, pressure/temperature sensors, accelerometers
  • Johns Hopkins University / University of Maryland: Measure electron density in the E region (90-120km), flight data GPS   acquisition, SiO2 aerogel dust collection via exposed telescoping arm
  • West Virginia University: Plasma density/frequency, magnetic field, flight dynamics, magnetic effects on ferrofluids in microgravity, protect a picosatellite payload consisting of an IMU and magnetometer, as well as a transceiver to transmit data back to Earth
  • University of Colorado at Boulder: Prove the validity of microgravity crystalline experiments on rockets using Sodium Acetate Trihydrate (SAT) and Succinonitrile-Camphor (SCN), analyze the differences between crystals grown in microgravity and crystals grown under normal gravity
  • University of Minnesota: The determination of the effect of a suborbital rocket flight on various electrical components due to radiation damage
  • Northwest Nazarene University: Determine the durability of flexible electronics in the cryogenic environment of space; create a de-spun video of the rocket flight.
  • University of Puerto Rico: Piezo electric sensor will detect the number of particles at impact and a porous aerogel will capture them for future analysis

CLICK HERE for full details on this morning’s launch and the experiments from NASA.

Meteorologist Carrie Rose
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