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NNU students get data from satellite

MakerSat-0 launched into space Saturday morning. A couple days later and it's already collecting data for the students to assess. (KBOI Staff Photo)

Students at Northwest Nazarene University are already seeing the hard-work of their labor pay off. Their satellite, MakerSat-0, launched into space Saturday morning. A couple days later and it's already collecting data for the students to assess.

Connor Nogales, an Electrical Engineering Major, designed the plastic being the primary mission of the satellite.

"Oh man its so exciting its really, really cool. Seeing something that we created, something we all worked on and see it go into space and getting data back is really, its an amazing feeling," Nogales said.

MakerSat-0 looks at how 3-D printed plastics react to space. The satellite will orbit the Earth 14 times a day at 17-thousand an hour. Sending data right to the students smartphones.

"As far as the data we're collecting we're trying to find out how these polymers degrade over time. So as far as telling whether it's a successful experiment it's going to take quite a bit of time to compare from when we first launched it to let's say a year or two down the road. So as time goes on we'll be able to get a better number for you, " says NNU graduate, Braden Grim.

As data comes down, they use the exact replica of the plastic masses in space to determine how they undergo degregation due to the harsh environments in space.

"What we want to do is measure how fast they degrade and what way. And that's going to tells us how we might design, using these materials for larger space structures and how we can use these materials in space."

Though they are still putting the pieces of data together, it's a positive start. A four year project that is now talking back.

"A lot of cube sets reach orbit and you never hear from them again so the fact that it's talking to us is a really good feeling," said Grim.

You can now track the satellite live in space. Head to engineering.nnu.edu to discover Idaho's first satellite.

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