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UND Blog: Tiny satellite from UND awarded space launch

UND’s Jeremy Straub holds the CubeSat. Photo by Jackie Lorentz. - See more at:

It could be a kid’s LEGO®  creation, about the size of a detergent box.

Don’t be fooled.

The University of North Dakota’s OpenOrbiter One CubeSat—recently given a “go for launch” by NASA—is a space-based research device capable of much more than its diminutive size lets on.

“We got awarded a launch, very exciting, indeed,” said Computer Science Ph.D. candidate Jeremy Straub, who’s coordinating the University’s CubeSat project. “We expect that it’ll be integrated into a U.S. launch vehicle for an International Space Station (ISS) resupply mission. It’ll go out from the ISS NanoRacks CubeSat launch facility.”

The UND CubeSat led the list of projects of its kind selected by NASA.

“Our proposal was chosen as the top selection nationwide for 2014-2015,” Straub said. (See NASA list ranking this year’s CubeSat project selections

Straub says part of the mission—once the UND CubeSat is in orbit—is to fly over Grand Forks, where it will be able to capture imagery and be able to download its data to a receiving and control station located in the UND John D. Odegard School of Aerospace Sciences’ Streibel Hall.

The number of students involved in the CubeSat project, at any one time, has ranged from under ten to 40 or 50. Over the course of the program’s life, about 80 students have been involved directly and an additional 100 or so have been involved more peripherally, Straub explains.

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