The National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) announced today that a nanosatellite designed by a team of University of Hawai`i at Mānoa electrical and mechanical engineering students is one of 33 selected to fly as auxiliary cargo on NASA missions planned during 2013 and 2014. This is the second year in a row that NASA has selected a nanosatellite from the UH Mānoa College of Engineering’s Small-Satellite Program.
Both UH Mānoa nanosatellites are named Ho`oponopono (“To Make Right”), in accordance with their mission of providing calibration for radar stations around the world, and both take the form of a so-called CubeSat which is about the size of a loaf of bread. The first CubeSat (Ho`oponopono 2), which was selected last year and is manifested for an upcoming NASA launch, is intended to be a demonstration mission lasting less than a year. The second CubeSat (Ho`oponopono 3) is intended to incorporate lessons learned from the first mission, and placed in longer-lasting orbit.
For this year’s competition, NASA received 43 proposals for its CubeSat Launch Initiative. Ho`oponopono 3 was ranked #6 on NASA’s priority list. This launch opportunity marks the latest success of the UH Mānoa Small-Satellite Program, which recently celebrated its 10th anniversary. More than 200 students have participated in the program since 2001. The students themselves have helped write proposals that have resulted in over $1 million in extramural funding and four launches, contributed to numerous publications including the first book on educational CubeSats, and have pursued advanced degrees and careers in the space industry.