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Deep Space Club Prepares to Analyze NASA Data
Deep Space Club Prepares to Analyze NASA Data
Posted on 12/10/2021
NASA's Artemis 1 rocket features sensors chosen by Nesbitt students for space data collection.Featured Photo: 1. Three CubeSats are deployed above the Earth from the International Space Station in 2019 (Above, NASA). 2. Internal view of Artemis 1 rocket featuring 10 CubeSat devices (Lower Left, NASA). 3. Former Discovery Academy students Lauren Ballard and Austin Gleydura perform a test on a CubeSat. 

By: Benjamin Rickert
BCS Communications Dept.

Space exploration enthusiasts (and readers of a recent BBC news story) are talking about a piece of technology aboard NASA’s Artemis 1 rocket scheduled to launch next summer. The rocket will include 10 CubeSat devices full of sensors designed to take atmospheric measurements around the moon, past Mars, and into deep space. The mission will deepen humanity's understanding of the composition of the universe and our place in it.

That’s already pretty cool, but here’s something even cooler for one Buncombe County school.

Martin L. Nesbitt, Jr. Discovery Academy (NDA) students helped study and choose the sensors aboard one of the CubeSats as part of the STEM* school’s Deep Space Club. After Artemis 1 slingshots CubeSats around the moon, they will soar past mars and beyond, sending back valuable data about radiation, space weather, solar flares, and the composition of outer space. Discovery Academy students will be among the first to analyze this data.

“While most CubeSats look inwards towards Earth, a handful are being pointed towards the stars,” reported the BBC News on Nov 23. “In 2018, NASA launched the first CubeSats into deep space. MarCO-A and B relayed vital information back from the Insight Lander as it descended on to Mars. Next year, NASA will launch 10 more CubeSats on its Artemis 1 rocket. Missions include testing the effects of deep space radiation on a living organism and studying water deposits at the lunar south pole.”

NDA is the only high school to select technology aboard Artemis’ CubeSats. Each CubeSat features six ThinSats full of sensors, and one of these ThinSats features the sensors chosen by the students for a study. The ThinSat will generate data including plasma detection, electron flux, particle detection, infra-red detection, magnetic field detection, and temperature.

The Deep Space Club partners locally with Destination SPACE founder and former NASA/NOAA engineer Dr. L. DeWayne Cecil. The club sponsor is science teacher Mr. Gregory Tucker. The CubeSats were invented by Professor Bob Twiggs of Morehead State University, who also has worked with Nesbitt’s team throughout the project.

*STEM: Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics.

Related Stories:
Nesbitt 'Deep Space' Team Featured at STEM Conference
NDA Deep Space Satellite Club: Out of This World

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