Irvine students have successfully launched a satellite into space! The Irvine CubeSat STEM Program, which is comprised of IUSD students from Irvine, Northwood, Portola, University and Woodbridge high schools, and TUSD students from Beckman High School launched Mission IRVINE01 with Rocket Lab on Sunday, November 11. That same day, the team received official confirmation from Rocket Lab that Irvine01 is now orbiting earth in space. This is the first launch for the Irvine CubeSat team.
Irvine01, which is known as a cube satellite (CubeSat) is 2.3 pounds and solar powered. While in space, it will take photos of stars and planets. The team back here on earth will use the information for research.
“We did it!” exclaimed University High School STEM/Engineering teacher Tinh Tran, who is also one of the CubeSat teacher leaders. “IRVINE01 successfully launched and deployed into low Earth orbit approximately 500 km altitude and orbits Earth once every 92 minutes.”
He continued, “It's sitting in the dispenser pod (see photo with red arrow taken moments before ejection). I was able to help students load the satellite into that pod and now it's up there -- speechless. One of the proudest, yet surreal, moments in this teacher's career.”
“This is such a spectacular reflection of what’s possible when a group of relentlessly committed and passionate people come together to support our students,” said IUSD Superintendent Terry Walker. “We have some of the most talented, dedicated and engaged students and teachers who have worked diligently on this incredible achievement. Congratulations to the Irvine CubeSat team.”
Another launch of Irvine02 in scheduled for November 19 at 10:30 a.m. aboard SpaceX Falcon 9 Rocket from Vandenberg Air Force Base.
The Irvine CubeSat Program (ICSP) is a project-based learning collaboration between K-12 education institutions, industry partners, non-profit organizations, and parent volunteers whose primary focus is to teach, train, and inspire the next generation of STEM professionals, while also creating opportunities for underrepresented groups in STEM-related fields. ICSP brings together over 100 students from six public high schools in the City of Irvine, California, whose main objective is to assemble, program, test, and launch a CubeSat into low Earth orbit (LEO) to perform a number of scientific experiments and explore new space technologies. In 2015 Dr. Brent Freeze and Kain Sosa established ICSP with Irvine Public Schools Foundation (IPSF), Irvine Unified School District (IUSD), Tustin Unified School District (TUSD) to change the way K-12 students experience STEM education.