Ex-Alta 1, the first satellite mission from the University of Alberta’s AlbertaSat team, is set to launch on an Atlas V rocket on Monday, March 27 from the Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida. The cube satellite will make a brief pit stop aboard the International Space Station before making its final journey into low Earth orbit to begin monitoring space weather. The launch will be streamed via NASA Live
After seven years and countless hours contributed by more than 50 team members–including undergraduate and graduate students as well as faculty members–measuring roughly the size of a loaf of bread at three standard cube units built with financial support from more than 600 crowd-funded donors as well as the Canadian Space Agency and the European Union’s Seventh Framework Programme for Research and Technological Development*, Ex-Alta 1’s launch marks the beginning of a new era of space exploration for Alberta. Not only did the team build the first ever made-in-Alberta satellite, AlbertaSat is also one of the first Canadian university teams to put a cube satellite into space.
Ex-Alta 1 is part of the international QB50 project, which involves cube satellites designed and built at universities around the world, representing 15 countries from five continents. The cube satellites carry complementary science payloads that will study space weather and the lower thermosphere for a period of nine to 18 months.
Watch a video of the Alberta team (including ISM CREATE Professor Ian Mann and student Charles Nokes) describing the mission here.
Good luck to all of our ISM CREATE students from the University of Alberta as they prepare to launch their CubeSat on March 21st. Charles Nokes, Chris Robson and Stefan Damkjar will all travel to Florida to witness the launch.
Read the CBC story about the team here.
Watch the CTV News story and video here.
Over 50 students and faculty attended a seminar given by Dr. Kathryn McWilliams on Tuesday, February 7th to describe the ISM Training program.
This seminar will highlight new opportunities for University of Saskatchewan students in the International Space Mission Training Program and explain how it fits into the existing ladder of training opportunities, building on the CaNoRock field trip to Norway. Canada’s space industry has identified a global leadership opportunity to develop the next-generation of space technology and personnel in an area of strategic importance. Highly skilled innovators with professional space mission training and international experience are essential for the Canadian space research and industry to achieve success in the area of low cost rocket and cube satellite development and deployment. The NSERC CREATE International Space Mission (ISM) Training Program–a Norway-Canada Partnership led by the University of Saskatchewan–will prepare future experts to capitalize on these opportunities for success. ISM will integrate technical skills developed through student-led, hands-on, satellite-mission launch training with high-demand professional skills. The ISM vision builds upon a longstanding partnership between universities in Canada and Norway, Arctic nations uniquely positioned and reliant on space technology and ground infrastructure. ISM will significantly expand the existing Canada-Norway CaNoRock space science training program by adding space mission and professional skills to the next level of students. The aims of the ISM are to enhance research in space science; to train students in technical, research and professional skills; to launch an operational student-led Canadian/Norwegian space mission by 2025; and to increase overall the number of highly qualified personnel with the skills needed to meet and drive the demands of the burgeoning space economy.