NASA has selected 24 small satellites, including one from the The Discovery Museum and Planetarium, www.discoverymuseum.org, 4450 Park Avenue in Bridgeport, CT, to fly as auxiliary payloads aboard rockets planned to launch in 2014, 2015 and 2016 as part of the NASA CubeSats project. The staff of the museum is thrilled and honored to have been chosen for this unique opportunity as the first CubeStat from Connecticut.
CubeSats belong to a class of research spacecraft called nanosatellites. The cube-shaped satellites measure about 4 inches (10 centimeters) on each side, have a volume of about 1 quart (1 liter), and weigh less than 3 pounds (1.1 kilograms).
Once launched, the Museum’s satellite will conduct research on orbiting particles and space debris, an area of interest for future space ventures. It will relay data to ground stations, including the Mission Control Center located at the Museum.
The vehicle itself will be built and tested through collaboration among the Museum, the University of Bridgeport Engineering Department and the support of engineers from UTC Aerospace Systems. In addition to generating useful scientific data, the satellite is a big boost to the Discovery Museum’s mission to enrich STEM education by teaming up with private industry and higher education.
The Discovery Museum CubeStat will be eligible for flight once testing and final arrangements with NASA are completed. Check out the link for the official release from NASA – www.nasa.gov/home/hqnews/2013/feb/HQ_13-064_CubeSat_4.html
About The Discovery Museum and Planetarium
The Discovery Museum’s 20,000 square foot facility includes changing and permanent interactive exhibit galleries, a 124 seat planetarium, Connecticut’s only Challenger Learning Center, an 80 seat auditorium, and five multi-purpose classrooms where hands-on science classes are conducted for schools, groups and the general public.
Permanent exhibits include Green Energy, Sound, Light and Space Galleries and a simulated Moon Base Discovery play area for very young visitors. The recently upgraded Henry B. duPont III Planetarium offers traditional star shows and fulldome digital planetarium shows daily for both very young children and for ages 8 and up.
The Discovery Museum, Inc. is an independent 501(c) 3 organization operated by a Board of Trustees. It is not affiliated with any government entity. It is located at 4450 Park Avenue, Bridgeport, CT, one mile south of Merritt Parkway Exit 47.
For area information www.visitfairfieldcountyct.com