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.