Canadian School Join World’s First Elementary-School Space Mission

By February 26, 2015Accessible Space

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TORONTO, ON / 26 FEBRUARY 2015 – Canadensys Aerospace is partnering with St. John Paul II Catholic School in Bolton, ON to provide a Canadian mission control centre for the world’s first ever elementary-school built satellite.

The spacecraft, named STMSat-1, was built by St. Thomas More Cathedral School in Arlington, Virginia. The tiny satellite will fly in an orbit 400km above the Earth, similar to that flown by Chris Hadfield aboard the International Space Station (ISS), taking pictures every 30 seconds and transmitting them via radio waves back to the ground. St. Thomas More School won a NASA competition to have their satellite launched into space from the ISS in June 2015. The satellite is the first ever in the world to be built and designed entirely by grade school students, supported by technical advisors from NASA.

A central Mission Operations Centre (MOC) will be based on site at the St. Thomas More School in Virginia, augmented by a network of supporting Remote Mission Operations Centers (RMOCs) in various parts of the U.S. and around the world. Canadensys is providing St. John Paul II School with the technology and support required to build and operate an RMOC in Canada.
As an RMOC partner school within the STMSat-1 mission, Canadian students from ages 4 to 14 will have the opportunity to experience real-life space mission operations from tracking the satellite as it passes overhead and receiving the transmitted images, to archiving them and interpreting the data received. Students will then upload their captured images to the primary MOC at St. Thomas More School in the U.S. for broader distribution to the global network.

The goal of STMSat-1 is to inspire school children in science, technology and mathematics as alluded to by the double acronym. The project is part of Canadensys Aerospace Corporation’s commitment to Accessible Space, providing broadened participation options in space missions across public and education sectors, and leveraging the unique potential of space to inspire and engage.

“We are thrilled to be partnered with St. John Paul II School, and our American colleagues at St. Thomas More School and NASA, to provide Canadian grade school students with the first-hand experience of a real space mission” said Christian Sallaberger, President of Canadensys Aerospace. “Missions such as STMSat-1 have the unique potential to engage, inspire and teach about international cooperation. It is a privilege to be able to bring this experience to children.”
George Consitt, Principal of St. John Paul II School added “All of our students, from Kindergarten through Grade 8, will have a chance to participate in an actual space mission in various ways. This is a truly unique experience that has fired the imaginations of teachers and students alike. We are happy to partner with St. Thomas More School and the engineers and staff at Canadensys Aerospace to make this possible.”

“We are delighted to announce Saint John Paul II School in Canada as our first international Remote Mission Operations Centre (RMOC) for the STMSat-1 mission. Our hope is that STMSat-1 can help inspire children around the world to pursue careers in science and engineering,” said Joseph Pellegrino, the STMSat-1 Mission Manager at St. Thomas More School, following a recent visit to the RMOC in Canada.

About Canadensys Aerospace

Canadensys Aerospace Corporation (Canadensys) is a space systems and services company based in Toronto, Ontario with a focus on accessible space. The company is founded on heritage and expertise from 3 decades of international flight programs spanning large and small space, combined with modern, commercially focused models for effective space program and mission development.
For further information visit www.canadensys.com or email: stmsat_rmoc@canadensys.com.

For further information on the STMSat-1 mission and spacecraft please visit www.stmsat-1.org.

About St. John Paul II Catholic School

St. John Paul II Catholic Elementary School in Bolton, Ontario, is part of the Dufferin-Peel Catholic District School Board, one of the largest and most diverse school districts in Ontario. For information on St. John Paul II Catholic Elementary School, contact Bruce Campbell, General Manager – Communications and Community Relations, Dufferin-Peel Catholic District School Board at 905-890-0708, ext. 24466 or 905-609-1480.

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STMSat-1 in orbit

The elementary school-built STMSat-1, due for launch in 2015, shown in orbit passing over the Northern Lights.

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Students first learn of their space mission

St John Paul II School students receive their first mission briefing from Canadensys and a welcome from St. Thomas More School.