How small satellites are tackling big challenges

An artist’s conception shows the HaloSat X-ray-detecting mini-telescope against a background of stars and nebulas. (HaloSat / Univ. of Iowa Illustration)

LOGAN, Utah — No one has ever built a satellite in space, but thanks in part to a team of students from Idaho, that could soon change.

Other teams are building miniaturized satellites to look for missing sources of mass around our Milky Way galaxy, or find out how much deadly ultraviolet radiation hits alien planets, or zoom past Mars and track a bigger spacecraft as it descends to the Red Planet’s surface.

Those are just a few of the science experiments detailed over the weekend here at the AIAA / Utah State University Conference on Small Satellites, better known as SmallSat.

Get the full story on GeekWire.

By Alan Boyle

Mastermind of Cosmic Log, contributor to GeekWire and Universe Today, author of "The Case for Pluto: How a Little Planet Made a Big Difference," past president of the Council for the Advancement of Science Writing.

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