Lift-off for OSCAR-QUBE, now en route to the International Space Station

Cortez Deacetis



Student experiment OSCAR-QUBE has blasted off from NASA’s Kennedy Space Centre onboard a SpaceX Dragon cargo automobile, and is now on study course to rendezvous with the International Place Station in very low Earth orbit.

The workforce behind OSCAR-QUBE are a group of college students from the University of Hasselt, in Belgium. They are trailblazers, staying the to start with to launch their experiment as aspect of ESA Training Office’s Orbit Your Thesis! programme, and the very first pupil workforce to exam a quantum technologies sensing device in house.

Liftoff of SpaceX Dragon CR23

Orbit Your Thesis! is a palms-on ESA educational programme that will help university pupils realise the desire of putting an experiment of their possess style into space. As lively contributors, the OSCAR-QUBE learners have been assisted at just about every stage of their journey by ESA authorities on-hand to offer you qualified guidance and mentoring, serving to not only to develop the experiment, but also investing in the college students by themselves, equipping them with the techniques and mindsets wanted for future occupations in the house sector.

OSCAR-QUBE’s mission is to develop a in depth map of Earth’s magnetic discipline. It can make use of a new type of magnetometer that exploits quantum sensing, that means that it is highly sensitive, presents excellent nanoscale-level resolution, improved than 100-nanosecond response time, and a large bandwidth. These options mix to generate a effective experiment that, when in its excellent observational position in orbit, will enable it to map the Earth’s magnetic industry to an unrivalled level of precision. It has been designed and crafted exclusively by the university students, and they will go on to manage functions all through its 4-month remain onboard the Global Area Station.

“Thanks to the Orbit Your Thesis programme OSCAR-QUBE has gained the prospect to demonstrate the viability of this sensor in place on-board the ISS.” The workforce mentioned in interview, “The fact that our challenge will be launch to the ISS is incredibly exciting… To have a position on the ISS is a quite huge honour, and it motivates you even additional to operate more durable.”

Staff Oscar Qube stands on the grass for a socially distanced staff photograph

The pupils are nevertheless buzzing with pleasure from the start, and anticipation is rising for the upcoming phase of their journey. OSCAR-QUBE will now expend many days journeying to the Intercontinental Area Station, and as soon as onboard it will be downloaded by ESA astronaut Thomas Pesquet. He has been tasked with cautiously setting up OSCAR-QUBE into the ICE Cubes facility, and then its mission will begin!

For much more OSCAR-QUBE updates be sure to check out the Orbit Your Thesis! portal

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