NASA selects Marquette satellite to launch into space

MILWAUKEE (WITI) -- From the classroom to outer space. Marquette University students, with the backing of NASA, will soon build and launch a satellite. Students have been working on it for about three years.

NASA has selected Marquette University as one of 16 organizations to launch a CubeSat, a small satellite that weighs less than three pounds, into space in 2015, 2016 or 2017.

The student-built CubeSat, named Golden Eagle One, will be the first satellite built by Wisconsin college students to be launched into space. About 65 students have had a hand in the project.

"We want to keep this thing going, absolutely, it'd be really cool just to come back for a 10-year-reunion and see this lab twice as big," said Brian Gienko, Marquette Junior.

The Marquette satellite is designed to carry out two main objectives: to collect and transmit pictures from onboard cameras back to earth and to test the reliability of special computer memory used in space. A ground station on Marquette’s campus will allow students to communicate with and retrieve data from the satellite once it is in orbit.

The students say the design is about 98 percent complete and some of its parts have been built.

"Going forward, we're going to need to assemble all the components together and test them all individually and test them as a whole before we can launch," said Devin Turner, Marquette Senior.

This is the fifth round of NASA’s CubeSat Launch Initiative, with only 115 satellite projects from across the country selected.

The other 14 projects selected by NASA in the latest around are:

•    Boston University, Boston

•    Brown University, Providence, R.I.

•    Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University, Daytona Beach, Fla.

•    Johns Hopkins Applied Physics Laboratory, Laurel, Md.

•    Lincoln Laboratory, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Lexington, Mass.

•    NASA's Ames Research Center, Moffett Field, Calif.

•    NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center, Greenbelt, Md.

•    New Mexico Institute of Mining and Technology, Socorro, N.M.

•    St. Thomas More Cathedral School, Arlington, Va.

•    The Aerospace Corporation, El Segundo, Calif.

•    University of California, Los Angeles

•    University of Florida, Gainesville, Fla.

•    University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, Mich.

•    Utah State University, Logan, Utah (2 CubeSats)