UVic’s ORCAsat satellite blasts off for International Space Station

UVic's ORCAsat satellite blasts off for International Space Station

A satellite built by UVic students is now bound for the International Space Station.

The ORCASat satellite has been in the works for the past four years, with the Nov. 26th launch date marking the culmination of all of the student’s hard work.

“I think it hasn’t fully sunk in yet, but it’s very exciting and we’re looking forward to actually trying to operate the whole system,” says project member Levente Buzas.

Each student involved had their own input in the project, which served as a key learning experience.

“The aim is to give students the opportunity to gain real-life skills for the aerospace industry,” says Buzas.

ORCASat’s scientific objective is to act as an optical reference calibration satellite, giving ground-based telescopes a reference point in space.

“It’s a light source that’s going to help astronomers calibrate their telescopes and then they’ll be able to use their calibrated telescopes to take more accurate measurements of stars and other celestial objects,” says ORCASat’s mechanical lead Tristan Tarnowski.

The launch of the SpaceX rocket carrying ORCASat was originally slated for Nov. 15th, but technical problems and bad weather delayed the launch for weeks.

Finally at 11:20 PST, SpaceX CRS-26 took flight from the Kennedy Space Center.

ORCASat will rendezvous with the International Space Station before being deployed to collect data for the next 18 months.

Cole SorensonCole Sorenson

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