Now that it is complete, developers hope the project will soon be up in the air.
Saint Louis University’s first spacecraft that has been designed, built, tested and operated by students at Parks College of Engineering, Aviation and Technology, is tentatively scheduled for launch today (Tuesday) from the Mid-Atlantic Regional Spaceport in Virginia.
The Air Force Research Laboratory and NASA Missouri Space Grant funded the project development and the launch of COPPER is sponsored by NASA.
COPPER's mission is to test the effectiveness of a commercial infrared camera for in-space navigation and object detection, as well as observing the Earth in the infrared spectrum.
Parks College students will operate COPPER for 12 months from a radio control station in McDonnell-Douglas Hall on the SLU campus.
The spacecraft will naturally fall from orbit in about four years. More than 50 undergraduate and graduate students worked to create COPPER over the past three years.