Artemis 1 Mission

First Student Built Canadian CubeSat Project Satellites to Launch Saturday

While three CubeSat's are shown here only two will go to space. The CubeSat on the left is the LORIS satellite from Dalhousie University. The middle one is is ORCASAT from the University of Victoria. The CubeSat on the right is the University of Victoria's engineering model. Credit: Canadian Space Agency.

In 2016 the Canadian Space Agency began the process of what would become the Canadian CubeSat Project. Now six years later and after several delays, most induced by the the pandemic, the first two student satellites from this project are scheduled to launch Saturday, Nov. 26.

The first two satellites being launched from the project are the University of Victoria’s ORCASat (Optical and Radio Calibration of Atmospheric Attenuation CubeSat CubeSat) and Dalhousie University’s LORIS (Low Orbit Reconnaissance Imagery Satellite) CubeSat. We recently profiled both projects.

The launch of ORCASat and LORIS is scheduled for Saturday on Falcon 9 launch of SpaceX’s 26th Commercial Resupply Services (CRS-26) mission to the International Space Station (ISS). The two small CubeSat’s will be onboard as cargo for future deployment from the ISS by an astronaut.

The instantaneous launch window of the Falcon 9 rocket is at 2:20 p.m. ET (19:20 UTC), with a backup launch opportunity available on Sunday, November 27 at 1:58 p.m. ET (18:58 UTC). You can watch the launch on SpaceQ.

Originally, 15 teams of students from post-secondary institutions in each province and territory were selected for the Canadian CubeSat Project. How many of those teams will actually see their satellites launch is still to be announced.

We do know that the rest of the Canadian CubeSat Project CubeSat’s will launch in 2023. Today, the Canadian Space Agency announced that a second group of seven teams are preparing for launch. This includes teams from; The Yukon College, Aurora Research Institute, University of Alberta, McMaster University, Concordia University, Université de Sherbrooke and York University.

About Marc Boucher

Boucher is an entrepreneur, writer, editor & publisher. He is the founder of SpaceQ Media Inc. and CEO and co-founder of SpaceRef Interactive LLC. Boucher has 20+ years working in various roles in the space industry and a total of 30 years as a technology entrepreneur including creating Maple Square, Canada's first internet directory and search engine.

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