Science

NASA will be launching a small satellite created by Mexican students

NASA is going to launch a small satellite built by a team of Mexican students. This satellite is a part of AzTechSat-1, which is an experiment to demonstrate inter-satellite communication between CubeSat in low-Earth orbit. NASA will launch this satellite from the international space station. The satellite is a part of NASA’s CubeSat Launch Initiative (CLSI). Students from Universidad Popular Autónoma del Estado de Puebla (UPAEP) build this satellite. The CLS initiate offered a platform to launch small satellites by NASA, universities, and non-profit organizations.  This new satellite is a great pride for students as well as for the country.

Moreover, this is the first Mexican nanosatellite launch with NASA.  One of the faculty at the university said that this launch would encourage students to build small satellites for NASA programs. More students will believe in their capabilities after watching these initiatives by NASA and Mexican students. According to NASA, the AzTechSat-1 will show how inter-communication between satellites will reduce the need for space radio stations on the ground. Moreover, satellite communication will become faster while increasing the maximum data downloads in the satellite applications. Also, the removal of radio stations will reduce the cost of satellite communication. The new satellite launch will be a significant advantage.

The vice president at the university pointed out that this satellite mission is vital for students as well as for the country. This project could lead to more research and telecommunication project opportunities for Mexico. Students outside of engineering also got opportunities from the satellite project. Ana Belen, one of the film and production students from the university, is a part of a team that is creating a documentary film about this launch. She said that projects like this require lots of research and planning. People involved in the satellite launch are excited to see the launch at the international space station. The size is the only small thing about the satellite. Otherwise, it is going to be a massive improvement in satellite communication.

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Bruce Townsend

I am a Ph.D. astrophysicist, Associate Editor, and science communicator, who professes physics and astronomy at various colleges. I’ve written, online, and in print, for Air & Space, Astronomy, Ars Technica, Discover, Drone360, Gizmodo, Popular Mechanics, and Washington.

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