On the night of Wednesday, Nov 05, 2014, members of RIT's Space Exploration (SPEX) group came to the Observatory to talk about satellites. The group is led by Dr. Mihail Barbosu, Head of the School of Mathematical Sciences, and Anthony Hennig, a student in the Mechanical Engineering program. They are working towards an ambitious plan: putting a small satellite in orbit via the CubeSats launch initiative. Basically, if they can build a tiny satellite, just 10x10x10 cm, they may be able to arrange for it to be launched into space as "piggyback" cargo.
Dr. Jen Connelly of the School of Physics and Astronomy organized this meeting, in order to talk with the SPEX group about their project. She is standing in the middle of the photograph below, wearing a blue shirt. Prof. Roger Easton of the Center for Imaging Sciences also attended, to provide information based on his experiences with the Vanguard satellites; Roger is standing at far left.
We spent some time inside, but also quite a bit of time outside. The group caught a flare from one of the Iridium satellites early in the evening, but was foiled later on by the bright Rochester skies.
We may try to observe some existing satellites with the telescopes and cameras at the RIT Observatory over the next year as practice, so that we'll be ready when SPEX puts their cubesat into orbit!
Last modified 11/10/2014 by MWR.