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SATELLITE EDUCATION PROJECT LAUNCHED – Canadian astronaut Jenni Sidey is seen with an example of a CubeSat at last Friday’s national launch event held at the university of Manitoba. Photo courtesy CANADIAN SPACE AGENCY

Yukon College joins CubeSat space program

Yukon College students will be among a number of post-secondary school students slated to become part of the Canadian Space Program over the next three years.

By Stephanie Waddell on May 10, 2018

Yukon College students will be among a number of post-secondary school students slated to become part of the Canadian Space Program over the next three years.

The college – in partnership with Aurora College in Inuvik and the University of Alberta – will be part of the Canadian CubeSat Project with a $250,000 grant awarded to the YukonSat project. The plan was announced late last week.

The college is one of 15 in total from across the country where college and university students from each province and territory will design, build and launch their own CubeSat (a small 10 cubic cm satellite) into space.

The satellite will orbit Earth for nine months in 2020 or 2021.

“The Canadian CubeSat Project invites Canadian students to rise to the challenge of space, and after reading the winning proposals, I can say that they are ready to take it on,” CSA astronaut Jenni Sidey said at the announcement.

“What better way to engage Canadian students in STEM activities than to give them an opportunity to take part in a real space mission?”

The program will see students work on the space mission from start to finish over the three years.

Along with the design, building and launch, the college will be operating the satellites and conducting experiments in space, providing experience in science and engineering.

“It will also give the useful experience and skills in project management, leadership, marketing and communications,” it was highlighted in a statement by the CSA. “This will equip them well for the jobs of the future.”

The initiative falls under the federal government’s Innovation and Skills Plan, a multi-year strategy aimed at creating well-paying jobs for the middle class.

“The CubeSat project is training Canada’s next generation of innovators, engineers and astronauts,” said Navdeep Bains, the federal minister of Innovation, Science and Economic Development.

“Congratulations to the winning teams and their professors. These students are learning critical skills that will help them get the middle-class jobs of tomorrow. We can’t wait to see these satellites launched.”

Alison Anderson is the college’s technology innovation officer who’s heading up its CubeSat project,.

She told the Star this week it’s been on the radar for a while since the CSA began reaching out to post-secondary institutions that might want to be involved. “We’re really excited about it,” she said, describing it as the college’s “first space mission.”

A team of about five from the college put together the proposal recognizing the STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) opportunities it would bring to students, the school and the territory.

Exactly how many students will be involved in the project, timelines and other such details around the project will be unveiled at an announcement in June.

Comments (3)

Up 2 Down 0

Einstein’s Other half on May 11, 2018 at 3:33 pm

Yes , anything that can help raise the profile of Yukon College from ‘Grade 13 for dummies’ and maybe attracts a couple of quality science/technology lecturing staff from a real university, has to be a good thing. Even if it comes with a quarter million price tag. Excellent news !

Up 1 Down 0

ProScience Greenie on May 11, 2018 at 9:51 am

This is great news. Hopefully we see more education opportunities with Yukon College in science, math and technology. It is badly needed.

Up 2 Down 0

My Opinion on May 11, 2018 at 2:11 am

hmmmm. Quarter of a MILLION DOLLARS?????

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