Teamwork is the order of the day.
"It takes a lot of collaboration," said student Logan Shomo. "It gets everybody working together because something that you may go over and miss, you let someone else do the code, they might look at it and say, 'Oh, hey, right here you missed the letter z.' And that's keeping all the rest of the programming from working properly."
"We all have to work together with this to have the final product," Adam Poe said. "Because if one of us doesn't do our job then it's not going to work. We all have our own jobs and we have to fulfill them in order to make this happen."
The CubeSat the students design will go up in a NASA rocket as ballast "so it doesn't cost us anything to send it up," Oliver said.
"Once it's up there and they run all their missions, they'll actually launch it for us. It'll turn on itself and then we'll be able to start communicating back and forth with it. We'll be able to record atmospheric weather. And NASA is interested in that so we'll be able to relay that straight to them," he added.
The school also wants to put a gamma ray reader on the satellite, so when the sun has a burst of sunlight radiation they'll be able to read those spikes. And that's not all, Oliver said.
"We'll put a camera on there so we can send [photos] right back to our school. It won't be as good as GoogleEarth but it'll be a pretty good camera, just a straight camera shot. So we'll be able to see pictures from outer space sent directly here to South Charleston High School."
The CubeSat will be powered by solar panels, Oliver said. "This will stay up in space for five to six years, so we need to have something that will regenerate the power. Hopefully, all the components will work for that long a period.
"We're hoping to do this once a year so maybe by that time we'll have five or six in space. We want to make this a continuing education and learning experience for the whole school."
Reach Douglas Imbrogno at doug...@cnpapers.com or 304-348-3017.