(ORDO NEWS) — A team of amateurs from Tampa built the CubeSat, a miniature cube-shaped satellite powered by solar panels.
It will travel to the Moon with Artemis I, and then fly about 45 million kilometers on its own, transmitting information back to Earth.
The Miles team consists of 35 people. Among them are an aerospace engineer and a doctor of radiation physics, the rest are self-taught amateurs: teachers, artists, software developers and information technology specialists.
NASA’s website says the Miles team’s CubeSat is one of 10 projects that will conduct science and technology experiments in deep space on the Artemis I.
A traditional space satellite can cost billions of dollars. The Miles team’s satellite is worth about $500,000 and is funded primarily by private investors and donations.
The Miles team joined the NASA mission through the Cube Quest Challenge, which began in 2015 as part of the Centennial Challenge Program.
The team was formed with the participation of Tampa Hackerspace, a non-profit organization that provides equipment, classes and mentoring for technology projects.
To earn a seat aboard the Artemis I, Miles submitted hundreds of pages of research on how their satellite would perform over the course of two years. In 2017, the top three CubeSats were chosen to fly. Miles’ team finished in third place.
Of the three winners, CubeSat Miles was the only one to land on Artemis I in the Cube Quest Challenge finals.
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