B2Space has successfully completed a launch of four CubeSats designed and constructed by several universities, using a zero-pressure balloon, on the 4th of October. The mission began at 8:59am CET, and launched from Leon, Spain. The CubeSats reached an altitude of 20km and were successfully recovered at the end of the mission.
The Blue Jay Programme is a space-related initiative, and B2Space have launched the third edition of «Fly your CubeSat» in collaboration with several universities. This programme involves students working together to develop and launch CubeSats as part of their educational and research activities.
In the world of space exploration, opportunities for students to engage in practical learning experiences are limited. At B2Space, we are changing the narrative. The international initiative, in partnership with universities from all around the world, aims to provide students with a unique journey into space. Alfonso X El Sabio University, University of Seville, University of Las Palmas de Gran Canaria, as well as Divya Kurapati, Founder of N Space Tech participated in the programme this year.
«This program has a high impact on the training of students, and it provides solutions to current challenges, which is just what the business sector seeks and needs», said Valentín Canales, technical director of B2Space.
«With the growth of our HAPS operations, this training and outreach program of the stratospheric environment is a source of knowledge and candidates for future technologies and strategic partners. At B2Space, we have been working for three years with several universities, the Basic Air and Space Academy in León, to bring the ideas and efforts of these students to the stratosphere,» said Victor Montero, B2Space’s operations business director.
Fly your CubeSat programme progresses throughout the academic year, during which students begin their academic adventure that involves several important steps:
- Mission design: students design a CubeSat to perform a mission of their choice and this step encourages creativity, critical thinking and problem-solving.
- Satellite construction: the heart of the programme involves students building their CubeSat, a practical step which promotes technical skills and teamwork, as the students gain insight into satellite engineering.
- Ground testing: prior to the journey to space, the students test their CubeSats to ensure reliability and functionality. The purpose of this stage is to teach the students about quality control and the importance of detailed preparation.
The most exciting part of the programme is without a doubt the stratospheric flight, reaching altitudes of approximately 20km in altitude. The launch day brings together students and teams from different countries and universities, and the flight offers a testing platform for the CubeSats, making it an important moment in the students’ educational journey. Engaging in this programme provides students with important practical experience, incorporating all the aspects of a space project, from designing, manufacturing, assembling, integrating, testing, preparing project documentation, and finally participating in a launch for their own small satellite.
Benefits for the Universities
Participation in this programme offers universities several advantages:
- Low-cost, high-impact activity: “Fly Your CubeSat” is a cost-effective initiative which improves a university’s reputation and attracts more students, funding, sponsors, and collaborations.
- Mentorship and guidance: We provide mentorship and guidance throughout the programme, ensuring the successful design, construction, and testing of the CubeSat.
- Research opportunities: Participation in this programme can lead to extended research in the field of space.
Learning Opportunities: Students are provided with learning opportunities that align with their academic goals and career aspirations.