Live Mic: BYU and NASA set to blast off into space

Nov 16, 2020, 6:04 PM
FILE: Astronaut Ed White during the first American spacewalk. BYU students will see their hard work go into space with NASA in the near future. (Photo: NASA)
(Photo: NASA)

SALT LAKE CITY — Brigham Young University (BYU) engineering students have created a cube satellite that will launch into space on an NASA mission later this year.

Dr. David Long, professor of electrical and computer engineering at BYU, joined Lee Lonsberry on Live Mic to explain the project started, designed and built by students.

“It’s a satellite that is designed to take pictures of another satellite,” said Long. “It’s a spacecraft selfie cam.”


“Tell me how big a deal this actually is?” Lee asked.

“It’s actually a pretty small deal,” Long said.

Long said more than 60 students over a five-year period participated in the project of launching two 10-centimeter cubes into space. It’s the first time the university has designed and built its own spacecraft, he said.

The NASA program consists of universities proposing and undergraduate students building instruments to fly on aircraft, balloons or in space.

“We proposed to fly this selfie camera. The NASA review board was enamored with our project, and they gave us funding. I used to work at NASA-JPL so I kind of knew this stuff,” the professor said. 

He said the cube satellite (CubeSat) has a camera on each face to create a spherical image of its own deployment from the launch vehicle in order to inspect the outside of the spacecraft for safety and repair issues.

“This is a prototype-demonstration mission,” Long said.

He doesn’t know the precise launch date but anticipates it for the end of this month or early December. Long said as soon as the images from space are available, they will be posted for the public to view.

Long said the BYU students involved in the project put their names on the spacecraft so they will be floating up there  in space.

Read more about BYU’s first mission into space here.

 Live Mic with Lee Lonsberry can be heard weekdays from 12:30 p.m. to 3:00 p.m. on KSL NewsRadio. Users can find the show on the KSL NewsRadio website and app. 

Today’s Top Stories


Midterm Elections...
Chris Jacobs

BYU study finds lower voter turnout among certain demographics

The study found minorities, voters under 30, and Democrats are less likely to vote while Republicans over 30 had the highest rate of voter turnout.
4 days ago
Screen shot of video provided by BYU Police showing a shooting at the MTC in Provo. (BYU Police)...
Alejandro Lucero

Police release video of Provo MTC shooting, hope for more information

BYU police have released never before seen video of the 2020 shooting at the MTC in Provo. They are asking the public for helpful information.
12 days ago
BYU competes in URC....
Amie Schaeffer

BYU students compete in a contest that’s out of this world

A team of BYU engineering students placed in the top ten in the University Rover Challenge. The competition hosted students from 10 countries.
2 months ago
BYU study COVID money...
Martha Harris

BYU study says ‘going cashless was useless’ during height of pandemic

Many businesses went to a cash-only model at the start of the pandemic. A recent BYU study found the effort made little impact.
3 months ago
BYU professors finds that insulin plays a vital role in obesity...
Waverly Golden

BYU professor finds that insulin plays a big role in obesity

Ben Bikman, a professor at BYU, conducts research to find how insulin plays a role in obesity.
4 months ago
essential workers show signs of less stress during pandemic when getting gratitude...
Dan Bammes

Essential workers manage job stress during pandemic better with gratitude

A study by a BYU found that essential workers manage job stress during the pandemic better when getting gratitude, compared to those who don't.
4 months ago

Sponsored Articles

Live Mic: BYU and NASA set to blast off into space