A rocket carrying a mini-satellite built by University of Hawaii students was launched from NASA’s Wallops Flight Facility in Virginia Tuesday.
The satellite, built by about 50 students from the UH Manoa College of Engineering’s Small Satellite Program, will perform radar calibration and performance monitoring for U.S. Department of Defense and NASA radar stations that track missiles, aircraft, rockets, satellites, asteroids, and space junk.
The satellite, called Ho’oponopono 2 or H2, imeasures 4 inches by 4 inches by 13 inches weighs less than 9 pounds and cost $220,000 to build. It replaces a satellite 20 times larger and 40 times more expensive that recently failed in orbit.Ho’oponopono means “to make right” in Hawaiian.
The university’s mini-satellite is one of 28 carried by the rocket.
Experts estimated that the launch could be seen from Savannah, Ga., to Montreal to central Ohio.
One of the satellites is controlled by the guts of an off-the-shelf smartphone as NASA experiments with small, cheap, orbiting science projects.
The rocket, built by Orbital Sciences Corporation, also carried a satellite built by Virginia high school students.
The Associated Press contributed to this story.