NASA to launch Brown University students' nanosatellite - ABC6 - Providence, RI and New Bedford, MA News, Weather

NASA to launch Brown University students' nanosatellite

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By: Samantha Lavien

Slavien@abc6.com

Twitter: @samanthalavien

NASA has given the green light to launch a nanosatellite built by a group of Brown University students.

The CubeSat as it is called is being built by around 25 students at the school. The device is expected to be launched sometime in the next three years.

"You'll be able to see it in the night sky and it'll be about as bright as the North Star so totally visible even in Providence and in city's and then the am radio any amateur radio operator can listen to it," said senior Emily Gilbert.

"It started as a class project and just blossomed into something different all together," said graduate student Max Monn.

The mission of the device will be mostly educational.

"We're not doing a whole lot of new science but we are really trying to engage society in a different way and I think that is the real importance of the project," said Monn.

When it is finished the CubeSat will be about the size of a grapefruit and weigh just under three pounds.

"It will come over the sky a couple times a night and you'll be able to track it with an IPhone app," said senior Kelly Hering. "It goes around the earth once every 90 minutes."

And for those who've dedicated countless hours to the project, getting a launch date from NASA was some pretty incredible news.

"I was actually in class when I heard and ran out of class don't tell my professor and we were all just jumping up and down so excited I called my mom freaking out," said Gilbert.

"It's like not totally real yet but we are really excited about it," said Hering.

The team raised money to fund the project which is projected to cost around $13,000 to complete.

The device is expected to be finished next year.

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