“Now in space, a cutting-edge satellite the size of a shoebox, and UW students built it…”

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“Just be thankful there are students like Paige Northway and Nathan Wacker, two University of Washington students who think it’s neat to work on stuff like a satellite the size of a shoebox.

“For most of us,  all that is beyond our comprehension.

“But that’s how things move forward in our high-tech age. Going from rotary phones to the 1973 brick-like mobile phones to today’s 7-ounce smartphones entails complicated engineering, and that means technologically savvy people like Northway and Wacker.

“In case you missed it – and you probably did — one big part of the future in space is tiny satellites weighing maybe 7 pounds, with thousands orbiting around the Earth. Their size, numbers and advancements in technology  will mean everything from making the internet faster to helping climate research.

“Instead of relying on two or three large satellites to look at weather, a whole bunch of mini-satellites can cover an area in much more detail.

“Earlier this month, at 7 in the morning, a satellite assembled by about six dozen UW students was blasted up into space at NASA’s Wallops Flight Facility on the Virginia coast. It piggybacked on an unmanned cargo spacecraft sent to the International Space Station to resupply astronauts and pick up their garbage.

“Over the past five years the students had spent an estimated 25,000 hours on the project, including building a custom thruster for the satellite. The thruster uses new technology that uses no moving parts. Instead, sparks are used to vaporize small amounts of solid sulfur, which then propel the satellite…”


We provide the Full Link to Seattle Times Article , but do not try to make the whole article ours.  It does not belong to us. We only give you a flavour of it, so you can make up your own mind if you like and want to support the award-winning journalism behind it, like we do. Of course, we do not or could support all the points made in any article we highlight, but that is part of living in a democracy.  We believe the material is relevant to all and is necessary for their personal judgments.


 

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