NASA’s Minotaur 1 is due to launch from Wallops Island, Virginia Tuesday night, carrying 29 satellites into orbit with it — one of which is making history as the first to be designed and built by high school students.
The CubeSat, named TJ³Sat, is a small, two-pound satellite created by a team of more than 50 students over a period of seven years at the Thomas Jefferson High School for Science and Technology, located in Alexandria, Va.
As it makes its new home in the Earth’s orbit, TJ³Sat will communicate data to and from students and amateur radio operators around the world and hopes to provide educational resources to other schools, as per its mission statement:
TJ³Sat’s primary mission is to provide educational resources to other K-12 education institutions to foster interest in aerospace through the successful design and flight of a CubeSat. Our mission will be successful if it provides resources to other high schools so that they may also attempt to design and construct satellites, building upon what we have learned.
Once in orbit, communication with TJ³Sat can be made through the high school’s website.