Four Hampton University students worked on a project that has provided satellites for integration into a NanoRacks External Cygnus CubeSat Deployer (extCygnus NRCSD). The extCygnus NRCSD will be launched into space on April 17.
Since June 2016, more than 140 science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) students at Hampton University have worked together to make the mission a reality, Hampton University said in a statement. The students have been coached by faculty and industry advisors, with advice from NASA, and NanoRacks, a space station company.
The NanoRacks External Cygnus CubeSat Deployer (extCygnus NRCSD) is a mechanical separation system for small U-class satellites designed to interface with the Orbital-ATK Cygnus cargo resupply vehicle. The extCygnus NRCSD will release the CubeSats from the Cygnus resupply vehicle after it has completed its primary mission and left the International Space Station.
Asanji Chofor, a Hampton University junior and cybersecurity student, said “taking part in the Agile SCRUM Management Workshop was one of the most exciting parts of this project,” because he gained firsthand experience planning and constructing a CubeSat from scratch. “I’m truly grateful for this experience and all that I was able to learn as a part of the CubeSat Mission,” he said.
Hampton University said that the satellites will communicate data to ground stations at Virginia Tech, University of Virginia and Old Dominion University for analysis using an analytical tool developed by students from Hampton’s Atmospheric and Planetary Science Department.
The launch is scheduled for April 17 from Wallops Island on Virginia’s Eastern Shore.