Taylor University Satellite Chosen for NASA Flight

By NASA Published: Mar 26, 2012

Photograph from the NASA Photostream

A small satellite, or CubeSat, being built by Taylor University students, faculty and staff members, is one of 33 such satellites chosen by the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) to fly as auxiliary payloads aboard rockets planned to launch in 2013 and 2014.

According to Principal Investigator Dr. Hank Voss, this latest development in Taylor’s small satellite program was the result of a nationwide competition from which Taylor’s design was chosen by NASA. 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 and businesses.

The proposed CubeSats come from universities across the country, the Radio Amateur Satellite Corporation, NASA field centers and Department of Defense organizations. 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.

The selections are from the third round of the CubeSat Launch Initiative. After launch, the satellites will conduct technology demonstrations, educational research or science missions. The selected spacecraft are eligible for flight after final negotiations and an opportunity for flight becomes available. The satellites come from the following organizations:

  • Air Force Institute of Technology, Wright-Patterson AFB
  • Air Force Research Lab, Wright-Patterson AFB
  • California Polytechnic State University
  • Cornell University
  • Massachusetts Institute of Technology
  • Montana State University
  • Naval Postgraduate School 
  • NASA's Ames Research Center 
  • NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center
  • NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory, in partnership with the California Institute of Technology
  • NASA's Kennedy Space Center
  • The Radio Amateur Satellite Corporation
  • Saint Louis University
  • Salish Kootenai College
  • Space and Missile Defense Command 
  • Taylor University
  • University of Alabama
  • University of California
  • University of Colorado 
  • University of Hawaii 
  • University of Illinois 
  • University of Michigan, Ann Arbor
  • University of North Dakota
  • University of Texas
  • US Air Force Academy
  • Virginia Tech University

Thirty-two CubeSat missions have been selected for launch in the previous two rounds of the CubeSat Launch Initiative. Eight CubeSat missions have been launched (including five selected via the CubeSat Launch Initiative) to date via the agency's Launch Services Program Educational Launch of Nanosatellite, or ELaNa, program.

No date has been set for the Taylor launch.