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NASA Approves First Maine-Built Research Satellite For Launch In Next 3 Years

Courtesy of AMSAT
via University of Maine
3U CubeSat sample.

NASA has designated a small research satellite to be designed and built in the state of Maine for launch sometime in the next three years. It's believed to be the first Maine-built satellite to go into space and will be smaller than a loaf of bread.  It's being developed by the University of Maine and the University of Southern Maine.

University of Maine Assistant Vice President for Research Ali Abedi is one of the project leaders. "It has three different payloads, or science missions, inside of it we are going design with electronic components," Abedi says.

Falmouth High School, Fryeburg Academy and Saco Middle School were selected through a statewide competition to provide research projects for the mission.

Abedi says one of the projects will look at urban heat islands. The second will predict harmful algae blooms and the third will look at water quality properties, such as turbidity and phytoplankton concentration.

The Maine device is one of 18 small research satellites chosen by NASA as part of its CubeSat Launch Initiative.


Ed is a Maine native who spent his early childhood in Livermore Falls before moving to Farmington. He graduated from Mount Blue High School in 1970 before going to the University of Maine at Orono where he received his BA in speech in 1974 with a broadcast concentration. It was during that time that he first became involved with public broadcasting. He served as an intern for what was then called MPBN TV and also did volunteer work for MPBN Radio.