Montandesigned satellite launch

Almost all of this week’s space excitement has been on Mars, where NASA’s latest rover, Perseverance, landed and started returning incredible views, such as video of his landing – first a movie.

I say “almost”, because a supply launch at the International Space Station (ISS) on Saturday, February 20, carried a small satellite designed and built by a team from Montana State University in Bozeman. A Northrop Grumman Cygnus supply spacecraft has taken off from NASA’s Wallops Flight Facility in Virginia and less than two hours later docked at the space station.

The “IT-SPINS” satellite will remain on the orbiting space station until spring, when it will orbit alone and measure the outer edges of the Earth’s atmosphere, circling the planet 14 times a day. The six-month mission is the twelfth satellite that MSU students have sent into space since 2015. This has a sensor that will measure ultraviolet light in the upper layers of our planet’s atmosphere, an area called the ionosphere and thermosphere. Ultraviolet and X-ray radiation. from our Sun can cause ions around the Earth to increase and emit its own light, which can interfere with satellites and space …

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