Palm Beach Gardens, Fla. – U.S. Congressman Brian Mast (FL-18) today introduced the bipartisan Wolverine CubeSats in Education Resolution to recognize the Weiss School, a prekindergarten through 8th grade school, who designed the “WeissSat-1” that was selected by NASA in 2017 and launched as an auxiliary payload in 2018. The team was again selected by NASA in 2018 for their “CapSat-1” mission. The resolution is also designed to raise awareness of NASA’s CubeSat Launch Initiative and encourage continuance of the program as NASA reorganizes their Office of Education.
“This group of students from the Weiss School has accomplished something truly special with the design of the WeissSat-1 and CapSat-1. The hard work and dedication of this group has paid off, earning the attention of NASA, as well as inspiring our entire community,” Rep. Mast said. “I could not be more proud of these students for their work on this, and I’m excited about what this resolution can do for the future of the CubeSat Launch Initiative.”
The CubeSat Launch Initiative was established in 2008 as a mutually beneficial program to spur innovation in the STEM community and simultaneously advance NASA missions. Colleges and non-profit organizations compete to develop small satellites that fulfill NASA objectives. NASA has selected 176 CubeSats, built by 97 organizations and 75 universities across 39 states, and has launched 88 as of June 2019.
Most CubeSats are built by universities, but occasionally a primary or secondary school nanosatellite is selected. WeissSat-1 and CapSat-1 were two of the few built by a primary school, despite being in competition with universities. During development of their nanosatellites, the Weiss School discovered limiting factors to broader participation in the CubeSat Launch Initiative. The Weiss School debate team worked with NASA to identify that awareness of the CubeSat Launch Initiative is the major limiting factor of the program. Weiss School helped to write this resolution and asked that Congress support their effort to raise awareness and prioritize continuation of the CubeSat Launch Initiative.
The following individuals participated in the development of WeissSat-1 as well as the drafting of Wolverine CubeSats in Education Resolution:
Teachers: Shawna Christenson and Kevin Simmons
Students: William Mayville, Theo Ouyang, Samer Elhoushy, Paul Kiesling, Beau Kimler, Logan Eskildsen, Ethan Greene, Ankith Surredi, Maya Mohanty, Winston Shaw, Ben Purvis, Anthony Zhang, Andrew Zhang, Julian Lupyan and Michael Mikati
The resolution is attached.
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