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April 17th, 2017

It's Cool to Build a Cube Satellite and Belong to this Organization 

Software engineering senior Pradipta Shrestha presents the panel of a cube satellite to members of Students for the Exploration and the Development of Space, April 14 in the Engineering Research Building. Shrestha built a cube satellite in a 3D printer, he said. Photo by Braulio Tellez

The Students for the Exploration and Development of Space have their sights set toward the stars, scheduling events starting April 24.

On Friday, the organization met to plan future events and call for officer applications.

Organization president Pradipta Shrestha said the organization will host an online meeting with a NASA engineer on April 24. The organization is also planning to watch the solar eclipse on August 21 and build a cube satellite to launch into space.

A cube satellite is a small, cube-shaped satellite, which can be produced relatively cheap, Shrestha said. Satellites used to cost millions of dollars before electronics became more compact and efficient.

Shrestha 3-D printed one of the six faces to demonstrate how the satellite may look. The satellite is estimated to cost between $8,000 and $25,000.

Electrical engineering junior Chi Poon and computer engineering freshman Diptin Dahal said they are looking forward to working on the cube satellite. Dahal wants to build some of the electronics and motherboards for the satellite and apply the experience to his major. Poon said he is excited for this opportunity because of the hands-on approach.

Shrestha said the organization is open to all majors and facilitates all students interested in “space and space-faring civilization.”

Computer science senior Sakar Dahal said he joined the club because of his interest in extraterrestrial life. He read reports about the Trappist-1 solar system and Neil DeGrasse Tyson’s analysis of extraterrestrial life.

Dahal is hopeful there is life beyond Earth, because water has been discovered on other planets.

“Earth is just one pinch of sand in the universe,” Dahal said.

by Kevin Fornari, Shorthorn Staff