Students from Aurora College, working with Yukon College and the University of Alberta through the Aurora Research Institute (ARI), will team up to design and construct three miniature satellites, or CubeSats, with a grant of $250,000 each over 4 years from the Canadian Space Agency (CSA). This partnership is one of 15 college and university collaborations building tiny satellites that are inexpensive, lightweight, easy to launch into orbit, and better for the environment upon re-entry.
Launched in April 2017 by the CSA, The Canadian CubeSat Project (CCP) offers post-secondary institutions the opportunity to engage students in STEM, particularly in space domains, develop their expertise, and give students hands-on experience through applied research to prepare them for a competitive job market.
While each set of college and university partners has different goals for their projects, in this case, the project was designed to reflect both scientific and cultural/artistic aspects. The primary objectives of the project will include conducting research and gathering data from the CubeSat on earth’s upper atmosphere, and sharing and transmitting northern art, games, and stories in Indigenous languages to amateur radios across Canada.
Speaking from his office in Inuvik, Northwest Territories, ARI’s Manager, Technology Development and principal researcher on the project, Matthew Dares explained that the scope of the project allows for students interested in both technical and artistic aspects to be involved.
Dares hopes gathering the region’s unique art, history, culture, and stories to transmit from the CubeSat will engage and inspire the community while also providing others with meaningful information about the north.
STUDENTS FROM AURORA COLLEGE AND YUKON COLLEGE WILL SOON BE INVOLVED IN THE DESIGN, CONSTRUCTION, AND LAUNCH OF MINIATURE SATELLITES INTO ORBIT AROUND THE EARTH.
This partnership is currently in the Mission Concept Review and outreach phase of the project; they launch from the International Space Station (ISS) in August 2021.