CU Student Satellite To Undergo Testing At Ball Aerospace

June 23, 1997

A CU-Boulder student satellite slated for launch in September will be moved from campus June 24 to the Boulder labs of Ball Aerospace for testing.

The satellite, known as the Student Nitric Oxide Observer, or SNOE, is a scientific, earth-orbiting mission. The spacecraft will carry instruments to measure nitric oxide in the upper atmosphere, the intensity of x-rays from the sun and ultraviolet light from the aurora. It was designed and built by students, faculty and engineers at the Laboratory for Atmospheric and Space Physics.

SNOE is the first of a series of university-based satellite missions sponsored by NASA and the Universities Space Research Association. The project has involved more than 100 CU-Boulder students, primarily undergraduates.

The Ball tests will determine whether the satellite is ready to withstand the rigors of launch and orbital flight, said LASP research associate Stan Solomon, deputy principal investigator for SNOE. The analysis will include vibration tests on a large shake table and a thermal vacuum test in a high-vacuum chamber.

SNOE is slated for launch Sept. 30 from California’s Vandenberg Air Force Base aboard a Pegasus XL launch system provided by Orbital Sciences Corp. The mission will be operated by students working at a control center at the LASP Space Technology Center in the CU Research Park.

“We probably would not have been chosen to be the first university to build one of these satellites if it hadn’t been for the expertise and credibility that comes from our long relationship with Ball Aerospace,” said Solomon. For more information contact Solomon at 492-8609 or Jim Scott in the CU-Boulder public relations office at 492-3114.

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