A Sophomore Astronomy Student at University Of Iowa Successfully Sends a Message to ISS
It has been reported that a sophomore astronomy student at the University of Iowa built a communication station through which one could communicate with the ISS.
Ross McCurdy, astronomy student at University of Iowa, built the communication station on the seventh floor of the University building. He helped to assemble a 20-foot antenna at the rooftop of the Van Allen Hall. The communication device was used in this summer to communicate with the space station.
It took nearly 10 years and more than 30 attempts to assemble a 460-ton platform, said McCurdy. He said that his initial attempts to send a message to space station were not successful.
His first successful message that was sent to ISS was 'Hello from the University of Iowa', he said. The space station's website confirms that the message was received by the ISS.
It was found that ISS received the message when it was 240 miles above the Earth. The message was sent at 4 in the morning, in order to maximize the chances of delivery of message based on ISS's orbit.
The University of Iowa acquired the ground station for $10,000. And the money for this entire project was sanctioned to the University under a grant provided by the Iowa as Space Grant Consortium.
According to Iowa astronomy professor Philip Kaaret, the grant had one requirement, which was to have an undergraduate student to complete work at the station. Therefore professor Kaaret tapped McCurdy's name as he was an outstanding student of Kaaret's astrophysics course.
As per McCurdy, "Intellectually, the most challenging part was that I have no background in any of this, so there was a bit of a learning curve on that front. That was pretty enthralling, I guess would be a good word".
After successfully sending a message to ISS, McCurdy also tried to communicate with a small satellite called CubeSat. CubeSat was built by the University of Colorado-Boulder, and it weighs almost 3 pounds and is just 4 inch long.
McCurdy said that his attempt to communicate with the satellite was not successful.
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