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Stanford University Student - Mentor Satellite Program

The CubeSat Project is in development at Stanford University's Space System Development Laboratory (SSDL) in conjunction with California Polytechnic State University. The goal of CubeSat is to provide an effective framework for the design, construction and launch of picosatellites by students at Stanford, CalPoly and affiliated institutions. Once completed, the CubeSAts will deliver small payloads into Earth orbit.

Using space-related project based learning for interdisciplinary education (engineering, science, business, liberal arts) greatly enhances the learning quality for the students involved and provides both an effective way to do workforce development for the private and public sectors as well as a means for doing low cost space research. The CubeSAT Student/Mentor Programs:

• Provide a template for workforce development programs throughout the United States. CubeSAT will be coordinated through the National Space Grant Alliance that has active affiliates in all fifty states, the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico. The Western Region Space Grant Consortium will facilitate and coordinate the CubeSAT Program.
• Be structured as a Space Grant professional education and training program focused on preparing students for high-tech careers;
• Develop a student-mentor environment based on aerospace community-defined needs that balances theory and practical skills and takes a student through the end-to-end space mission process in a short period of time;
• Bring experienced academe, industry & government mentors to transfer their legacy to the next generation of scientists, engineers, and managers;
• Provide an effective environment for industry & government mentors to upgrade their skills;
• Bring together State & Federal government, universities and industry resources and support.

This is Stanford University's second Satellite Quick Research Testbed (SQUIRT). As part of the Space Systems Development Lab (SSDL), the SQUIRT project exposes graduate level students to all aspects of satellite design, construction, testing, and operations. OPAL will be operated from the SSDL ground station, which is fully equipped to carry out satellite contacts over the amateur radio satellite bands. After the on-orbit checkout period, the picosatellite payload will be the focus of operations followed by an evaluation of the testbed payloads. once all the experiments are completed, operations will turn to an extensive analysis of vehicle performance. This will provide valuable information for future SQUIRT-class satellite development.

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