Three Virginia university satellites are beginning their science mission in Earth orbit after their successful deployment from the International Space Station on July 3, 2019. The Virginia CubeSat Constellation mission will obtain measurements of atmospheric properties and quantify atmospheric density and how it relates to orbital decay.
The CubeSats were deployed as part of NASA’s CubeSat Launch Initiative. Funded by the agency’s Undergraduate Student Instrument Program (USIP) and the Virginia Space Grant Consortium, the mission is a collaborative project of the consortium and four of its member universities: Old Dominion University in Norfolk, Virginia Tech in Blacksburg, University of Virginia in Charlottesville and Hampton University in Hampton. More than 150 undergraduate students across many disciplines at these universities have worked on the mission for the past three years.