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Cadets from the U.S. Air Force Academy build satellite operating in space

Cadets helped build and operate the FalconSAT-8 satellite that is now successfully operating in...
Cadets helped build and operate the FalconSAT-8 satellite that is now successfully operating in space.(U.S. Air Force Academy)
Published: Nov. 2, 2021 at 10:49 PM MDT|Updated: Nov. 3, 2021 at 7:03 AM MDT
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U.S. AIR FORCE ACADEMY, Colo. (KKTV) - Cadets from the U.S. Air Force Academy in Colorado Springs are getting hands on experience when it comes to space research.

Cadets helped build and operate a satellite that is now successfully operating in space. The FalconSAT-8 was launched aboard the Air Force X-37B orbital test vehicle in May of 2020.

As of Oct. 20, the satellite is transmitting from several miles above the Earth. The satellite is returning information for five research experiments including, electromagnetic propulsion, flywheel energy storage, a star tracker, low power antennae, and a carbon nanotube radio frequency experiment.

“We’re extremely grateful to the Department of the Air Force Rapid Capabilities office and the Boeing Corporation for this opportunity and for the support they provide through their engagement with our cadets,” said Col. Luke Sauter, head of the Department of Astronautics.

This experience was made possible through the astronautics department. It provides opportunities for cadets and Air and Space officers to “learn space by doing space.” Over 200 cadets helped create and test the FalconSAT-8 satellite in the academy’s Space Systems Research Center.

“We’re not close to slowing down and we’re working hard on our next satellite,” said Sauter.

In the FalconSAT program, cadets learn to design spacecrafts and assemble payloads supporting aerospace industry and Defense Department experiments.

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