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REF NO.: 70

SUBJECT: Memorial University receives $200,000 for engineering students to build, launch and operate satellite

DATE: May 4

Memorial University has received a $200,000 grant from the Canadian Space Agency (CSA).
 
The grant will enable a team of engineering students to design and build their own CubeSat, a breadbox-sized satellite, and launch it into space from the International Space Station in 2020-21 through the CSA's new national student space initiative, the Canadian CubeSat Project.
 
Memorial is one of 15 university teams, composed of 37 organizations, chosen to participate in the project, thanks to several inter-regional, inter-provincial and international collaborations that include universities from Europe, Australia and the U.S.
 
The four-year project was announced today at an event hosted by the University of Manitoba. CSA astronaut Jenni Sidey unveiled the teams selected to participate, including Memorial University.
 
This is an opportunity for post-secondary students to work on a real space mission from start to finish, including operating the satellites and conducting science experiments in space. Students will gain science and engineering expertise from building a satellite destined for space, as well as valuable expertise in project management, leadership and communications.
 
Dr. Weimin Huang, a professor of electrical and computer engineering at Memorial, and Desmond Power, vice-president, remote sensing, C-CORE, are the principle investigators of the project. Memorial has teamed up with C-CORE on the project to draw from C-CORE’s extensive experience in space systems development.
 
“We appreciate the funding support from the CSA in developing our miniaturized satellite, which will measure sea-ice parameters from space,” said Dr. Huang. “This unique project will not only augment the remote sensing capacity at Memorial University through training a significant number of highly qualified personnel, but will also strengthen our ties with existing partners and build new national and international collaborative relationships with industry and academia.”
 
“This will be the very first Earth observation satellite built in this province,” said Mr. Power. “Newfoundland and Labrador has a long history in remote sensing and aerospace development, and this new CubeSat project will hopefully help to convince young engineers that there is a bright future in aerospace systems in this province.”

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For further information, please contact Jackey Locke, communications advisor, Faculty of Engineering and Applied Science, Memorial University, at (709) 864-8287, 691-5027 or jackey.locke@mun.ca.

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