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Idaho student inventors launch satellite into space


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The following is a news release from Invent Idaho.

RATHDRUM – Inspired by their participation in Invent Idaho, a statewide organization that promotes invention creation among students, high school youth from Rathdrum in northern Idaho recently launched a CubeSat miniature satellite into space.

The team, known as Project DaVinci, is the only high school/K-12 team in the country that was selected to participate in NASA’s CubeSat Space Mission, among other venerable institutions such as CalPoly, MIT, and the Jet Propulsion Laboratory.

The rocket launched from a station in New Zealand at 10:16 p.m. Pacific time Dec. 15. The satellite, measuring only 12 inches high by 4 inches wide by 4 inches deep, will orbit around the Earth at 17,000 mph. When in orbit, the team will be able to send and receive Morse code messages and interact with Space Ambassadors. The satellite also houses an on-board camera and virtual time capsule. The launch station is owned by Rocket Lab, an American company with a subsidiary in New Zealand.

“The goal of Project DaVinci is to inspire students around the world to pursue STEM education, careers, and fields,” explains Beth Brubaker, the Project’s educational lead and also the state coordinator for Invent Idaho. “We started in 2016 and raised more than $250,000 to make this possible. I am so proud of our inventors!”

One freshman CubeSat team member said,

“Even after only one year competing in Invent Idaho, I quickly realized how thinking outside of the box is such an important element, and has continued to be a huge element in every activity I do. In almost any scenario, you would be surprised at how thinking outside of the box can take you places that you never dreamed about before, and can lead to amazing inventions and ideas that could end up changing the world.”