Launched April 17, 2019

Though neither the first nor second iterations of MagnITO-Sat made it into space, in a way, their legacy did. Much of the hardware and software design from the tethered MagnITO-Sat model was adapted and reused for Taylor ThinSat-A, and several of the students who worked on MagnITO-Sat carried the work forward.

Again built as a 11.1x11.4x1.25 cm Picosatellite, and working in collaboration with Muncie's PhyXTGears robotics team, ThinSat-A was forged by persistence. After the previous wire-based tether design was vetoed early by launch authorities, it was replaced by a more sturdy unfolding accordion mechanism. A third ThinSat, known as the Mothership, was attached to handle the data communication for all three satellites. The Taylor student team worked closely with NearSpace Launch, an Upland-based company founded by two former Taylor faculty, who provided the compact ThinSat design and were instrumental in getting this first-ever ThinSat constellation into orbit. Taylor stood out as being the only school participating in the launch of 60 ThinSats to design their own payload board.

In the end, the students' persistence paid off with the ultimate reward, as many of the students involved in the design and production of ThinSat-A were able to watch it launch in April, 2019 from the Mid-Atlantic Regional Spaceport on Wallops Island, Virginia.

Faculty mentors: Bill Bauson, Stefan Brandle

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