April 19, 2018

For the second year in a row, the Irvine CubeSat STEM Program has been selected as one of only 34 small satellites nationwide to participate in NASA’s CubeSat Launch Initiative and fly on an upcoming mission. Irvine CubeSat is the only high school chosen this year by NASA to participate in this prestigious program, alongside world class universities and research centers.

The selected spacecrafts are eligible for placement on a launch as auxiliary payloads on planned NASA or commercial space flight missions, or deployments from the International Space Station. After launch, the satellite will conduct technology demonstrations, scientific investigations, and provide educational benefits to students.

This unbelievable opportunity validates the hard work and dedication of the students, teachers, and all of the partners involved. The Irvine CubeSat STEM Program is a true testament to what can be accomplished through the collaboration of industry experts, corporate partners, and public education. These students are setting an example for young people around the world that anything is possible, and we are excited to be part of making their dreams become a reality.

Boosted by $150,000 in seed funding from Irvine Public Schools Foundation (IPSF), this multiyear STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) initiative, called the Irvine CubeSat STEM Program, gained velocity thanks to corporate sponsors, including FivePoint, Ingersoll-Rand/Trane, Cisco, Resilient and Microsemi, Google, Arnold and Mabel Beckman Foundation, Bilingual Interactive, Meggitt Defense, Virgin Orbit, and Thales.

By serving as the founding partner, IPSF helped to spur investment from other public and private organizations in Irvine CubeSat – which was designed to attract and retain students, teachers and faculty in STEM disciplines – as well as strengthen Orange County’s future workforce. In addition, the Irvine CubeSat STEM Program is uniting the City of Irvine public high schools in partnership with industry experts to assemble, test, and launch a CubeSat spacecraft, a type of miniaturized satellite for space research made from commercial-off-the-shelf (COTS) components for its electronics and structure.

Beckman High School, Irvine High School, Northwood High School, Portola High School, University High School, and Woodbridge High School each formed teams of up to 30 students responsible for assembling and testing one component of the nanosatellite. Typically, a program like Irvine CubeSat would be seen at NASA or a handful of elite colleges and universities. The IRVINE03 mission is an education effort to teach, train, and inspire the next generation of STEM professionals, while creating opportunities for underrepresented groups in STEM-related fields. It will include a technology demonstration of an X-ray Cadmium Zinc Telluride (CZT) sensor and electrospray thrusters.

To learn more visit: NASA Announces Ninth Round of Candidates for CubeSat Space Missions