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.