Science & Technology

USU Club Prepares to Send CubeSat Into Space Via NASA Initiative

By Sydney Dahle |

The GAS team at USU will send a satellite up into space in 2026 through the NASA CubeSat Launch Initiative.

Engineering students at Utah State University are preparing to send a satellite into space with the help of NASA and astronauts at the International Space Station. The experiment is scheduled to launch in 2026.

The Get-Away Special Team, more commonly referred to as the GAS team, provides a unique, hands-on experience for any USU student to build and learn about satellites to prepare for a future aerospace career.

The Get Away Special Radio and Antenna Transparency Satellite, aka GASRATS, is a CubeSat mission focused on developing and demonstrating a special antenna that can be integrated atop a solar panel in low-Earth orbit. The satellite is being developed in collaboration with Associate Professor Reyhan Baktur in the Electrical and Computer Engineering Department.

The hope is that GASRATS will help potential future users of the antenna determine the suitability of the technology for their mission.

“This has been a really fun, unique experience to get to work on stuff in college that will go to space,” said Ethan Wayland, the team coordinator for the club. “Knowing that the stuff you’re working on is making a difference is a big deal.”

In March 2024, GASRATS was announced as one of 10 CubeSats accepted into NASA's CubeSat Launch Initiative. The program provides universities and nonprofits a way for their CubeSat to get to space. Once GASRATS has completed its critical design review, the CubeSat will be manifested for a flight approximately 12 months later.

The GAS team was founded in 1976 and originally flew space shuttle experiments through NASA's Get Away Special Program. Today, the GAS team designs and builds CubeSats. The team's first CubeSat, GASPACS, was deployed into space in January 2022 and deorbited in May 2022. GASPACS was an incredible success, completing all mission objectives over 117 days in space.

For those interested in joining, the GAS team accepts volunteer team members from all majors at USU. Little experience is needed from freshmen and sophomores; however, the team asks that all juniors and seniors have some experience in whatever they are joining the team to do. Visit https://www.usu.edu/physics/gas/join for more information.

The Get Away Special Radio and Antenna Transparency Satellite, aka GASRATS, is a CubeSat mission focused on developing and demonstrating a special antenna that can be integrated on a solar panel in low-Earth orbit.

WRITER

Sydney Dahle
Public Relations Specialist
College of Engineering
435-797-7512
sydney.dahle@usu.edu

CONTACT

Ethan Wayland
coordinator@gas.usu.edu


TOPICS

Engineering 348stories STEM 184stories Space 142stories NASA 87stories

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