First satellite built by high school students launches

By Casey Frye, CCNN Writer

high school satellite
The TJ3Sat mini satellite.

A company called Orbital Sciences is launching the Minotaur 1 rocket into space today, and it’s carrying some very unique cargo – a tiny satellite called TJ3SAT, built by high school students from Thomas Jefferson High School for Science and Technology! Yes, not NASA scientists, but regular old high school students.

The mini cube-shaped satellite, called a CubeSat, isn’t the first of its kind, but it is the first ever built by high school students.

The 2-pound satellite was created after 7 years of work by more than 50 students, as part of NASA’s Educational Launch of NanoSatellites (ELaNa) program. Talk about some serious dedication!

The program executive for small spacecraft technology at NASA said in a statement, “It used to be that kids growing up wanted to be an astronaut. I think we might be seeing kids saying, what they want to do is build a spacecraft.”

Images courtesy of NASA Ames Research Center and Thomas Jefferson High School for Science & Technology.