- Associated Press - Tuesday, February 23, 2016

RATHDRUM, Idaho (AP) - NASA has selected a team of students at a northern Idaho charter school to design and build a satellite for launch next year.

A proposal by STEM Charter Academy in Rathdrum was one of 20 nanosatellite ideas chosen by NASA to fly as auxiliary payloads on rockets planned to launch in the next three years, according to The Spokesman-Review in Spokane, Washington, (https://bit.ly/1SQmu3S ).

“It’s extremely exciting. We’re just jacked about it,” said Scott Thomson, executive director of STEM Charter Academy. “This is just a tremendous opportunity for these kids. They’ve got basically 12 months to do this.”

The cube-shaped nanosatellite will be launched in June 2017.

The high school’s CubeSat team, which has 10 students, will spend the next year designing the satellite. According to the students’ abstract, the satellite will deliver a Morse code message which will help students back on earth learn about radio waves, aeronautical engineering, geography and space propulsion.

While the satellite is in space, educators will be able to have their students build a radio frequency receiver to receive the message when the satellite passes over their school.

NASA picks CubeSat projects that address research in science, exploration, technology or education. The academy joins institutions including Jet Propulsion Laboratory, NASA’s Langley Research Center, the U.S. Naval Academy, Vanderbilt University and California Polytechnic University. A project from Northwest Nazarene University in Nampa was also selected by NASA.


Information from: The Spokesman-Review, https://www.spokesman.com

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