SilverSat Limited’s CubeSat has been selected by NASA for their 12th round of CubeSat space missions. This multi-year project by Silver Spring area middle and high schoolers provides a real-world engineering challenge of designing, building, launching, and operating a satellite in Earth orbit. SilverSat is one of 14 small research satellites from nine states selected to fly as auxiliary payloads aboard rockets launching between 2022 and 2025.
SilverSat has a primary mission to provide science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) education for tweens and teens by providing innovative hands-on and collaborative opportunities to teach and inspire. SilverSat’s secondary mission is a technology demonstration using social media to send information directly from a satellite to its users and the interested public. SilverSat’s mission engages students in STEM topics by directly sending mission data and photos of the Earth through Twitter.
SilverSat is building a CubeSat, a class of satellite that is small, inexpensive and lightweight. Many of the currently flying cubesats are literally cubes 10 cm on each side. They typically use commercially available parts, making them far less expensive than conventional satellites.
CubeSats are very popular satellites as educational tools. Many universities have built and launched CubeSats as student projects. SilverSat participants have collaborated with project mentors to learn and use new skills in mechanical engineering, electronics, computer programming and math.