Sep 27, 2013 7:45 PM by Allison Bourne-Vanneck

UL Lafayette students taking flight with NASA

At UL Lafayette a student project is getting ready to take flight with NASA. The satellite called "CAPE-2" was built by UL student organization called "Cajun Advanced Pico-Satellite Experiment." The satellite took almost six years to complete.

In November, "CAPE-2" will get its long-awaited launch, with the help of NASA.

"We were the first university, actually the first organization in Louisiana, to get their satellite out in orbit," UL senior Rizwan Merchant, who's apart of "Cajun Advanced Pico Satellite Experiment."

The first satellite students built, "CAPE-1," was launched in 2007. The satellite is about 10 centimeters by 10 centimeters, and is known as a cube-sat. Only a few other universities have a program like this with NASA.

"We work with NASA weekly, with all the other CubeSats to make sure everyone is in line and has the right standards so it can be injected and launched properly," UL Senior and Engineering student Zach Thevenot said.

Once CAPE-2 is in the air, it will serve as a communication device and do anything from reading text messages to tweeting.

"If some businesses want to have like a tweet sent by their company, they can contact us and they can work out a deal, so they can have their satellite tweet for them. And that's a big deal because not many companies out there can say that their company was tweeted by something in space," Merchant said.

CAPE-2 will also have text-to voice capability, two sets of radios, and an SD card to store files.

"We wanted to give back to the community. We want to inspire the next generation of engineers of scientists of our future," Merchant said.





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