ABC affiliate WJLA reported on a 3-year effort by Virginia grammar school students to send a satellite into orbit. St. Thomas More Cathedral School created Mission Possible to engage its students in science and mathematics. While each student spends time working in the project’s various jobs such as spacecraft specialist or payload specialist, the teachers link the hands-on work to the students’ classroom lessons.
But this isn’t just a fun crafts project. They use real space hardware based on a CubeSat kit. These young rocket scientists have already conducted high altitude tests by flying their satellite on a weather balloon into Near Space. And they already have a ticket to space. In early 2015 their satellite will ride a rocket to the International Space Station where astronauts will release it into its own orbit
The satellite will carry sensors and an Earth-observation camera to collect science data for the students’ science classes. When the satellite reaches orbit, its radio signals will broadcast the data for the entire world to hear. Other schools can sign up to become a Remote Mission Operations Center and take part in the project.