Today, our EQUiSat team is manufacturing and testing our satellite for launch. EQUiSat, will be launch ready in Spring of 2017. This means we will have finalized our designs and integrated our fully functional satellite. To accomplish this, our team will be putting our satellite through a whole suite of tests that simulate conditions during launch and during orbit that our spacecraft must survive in order to function. In keeping with our mission goals, we will be using simple equipment and methods to achieve as near as possible conditions to the launch and space environments. Before launch, we will ship our satellite to NASA to perform our final systems testing. Here EQUiSat will face its hardest test and will face worse conditions than it might ever expect. These tests will ensure that EQUiSat is safe to fly and ready for launch.
Our outreach team is very busy, teaching lessons and giving presentations about our satellite, space, and engineering in general. Over the past 4 semesters, our team has hosted a program at West Broadway Middle School, right here in Providence, RI. During this program, our team teaches students about space and engineering. Additionally, they provide the students with awesome science experiments that teach kids the intuition behind the physical principles of space travel. Remember Newton’s third law? It’s the fundamental equation that allows rockets to fly! Our students have made bottle rockets and balloon cars that work on the same principles! We hope to continue teaching and expand our lessons to more students. Let us know if you would like us to come to your school and present!
Our R&D team is just beginning to design their first high-altitude weather balloon. We plan on building our own payload and balloon, launching, and recovering our payload in one semester!