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Students and Satellites

photograph from Science & Technology story

(before 2003)

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College students are making their own space satellites. One student holds a plastic satellite up above her head. She tells everyone that it is ready go. It goes into a garbage can. The can is shaken by the other students. This is to copy what it is like out in space. The can is then dropped to the floor.

The students show that their small satellites can work. They are built strong enough to survive being in the garbage can. The teacher says that if the satellite is built right, it should not break apart. The students are learning that when you launch something into space, you can not go up and fix it.

The students are learning how to build a good rocket to get their satellites to fly. The satellites must fly or the students do not get a good grade. They are learning how to use wood, foam, glue and computer parts to put together their satellites.

Two years ago the students started to build a real satellite which they hope to send up in space. The student satellites will measure the Earth from space. The teacher says that new satellites will be smaller. They will be built faster and be cheaper to build.

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