Field School Balloon Launch

The first ISM CREATE Field school was a great experience for students.  The successful balloon launch was the highlight – the treed payload a lesson in expecting the unexpected.  Students came together in Kingston Ontario from the University of Saskatchewan, the University of Alberta and the University of Tromsø to CREATE a team of space mission specialists.  Watch the video of our 3 week intensive.

SHOW ER-2 Campaign

ISM CREATE student Daniel Letros has a good excuse for missing PH549 this summer.  He will be heading to the Armstrong Flight Research Center at Edwards Airforce Base in California.  He is part of a team of CSA, NASA and UofS ISAS scientists, including ISM collaborators Dr. Doug Degenstein and Dr. Adam Bourasa.

The program will use a Spatial Heterodyne Spectroscopy optical technique to measure water vapour features the upper troposphere-lower stratosphere region with limb viewing geometry.  The SHOW (Spatial Heterodyne Observation of Water) ER-2 campaign will be carried out on NASA’s ER-2 science aircraft in mid-July.  The ER-2 is able to fly into the lower stratosphere at subsonic speeds, enabling direct stratospheric sampling and observation.

ER-2 NASA’s High Altitude Airborne Science Aircraft (NASA)

Two flight paths at an altitude of 22km will be flown, one going north over the western United States and the other southeast over the Pacific. The goal of the campaign is to measure the density of water vapour in the upper atmosphere and improve predictive models.

Good luck with the launch Daniel.


After a number of delays the Orbital ATK Cygnus spacecraft was lifted into space by an Atlas V rocket Tuesday morning.  ISM CREATE students Charles Nokes and Chris Robson were on hand at the Kennedy Space Centre to witness the launch and delivery of the University of Alberta CubeSat.  Read the full article here!



Watch the launch of UofA Student-built cube satellite!

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.

UofA Students prepare for CubeSat Launch

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.



Seminar: International Space Mission Training – The Master’s Level Opportunity after CanNoRock


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.