Wolverine Cubesat Development Team
The Wolverine CubeSat Development Team of Palm Beach Garden, Florida became the first middle school to launch a 1U CubeSat through NASA’s Educational Launch of Nanosatellites (ELaNa) Program and the CubeSat Launch Initiative (CSLI) on December 3rd, 2018.
Launched aboard a Falcon-9 from Vandenberg Air Force Base and deployed from the SpaceFlight Industries FreeFlyer into a sun synchronous orbit, this novel picosat is designed to evaluate the viability of extremophile bacteria in low Earth Orbit, which could provide insight into the theory of panspermia. Upon arriving at The Weiss School in the fall of 2015, Aerospace instructor Kevin Simmons formed the satellite development team with the intention to design, build, test, and fly the 1U CubeSat within three years. The students later determined they intended to build a biotechnology payload, and partnered with two aerospace contractors: Near Space Launch for the spacecraft bus, and NYRAD for the spacecraft payload.
One of these proposals is FlipSat, a 2U CubeSat which will consider multiple parallel microprocessors with varying levels of radiation hardening which will operate concurrently with a ground unit. Optimization of the radiation hardening is critical to insuring the consistent operation of microprocessors in space. FlipSat can provide direct benefits to future space missions.