Christopher Moore, a graduate student at the University of Colorado, working on the Miniature X-ray Solar Spectrometer (MinXSS) CubeSat, which launched to the International Space Station in December 2015 and is slated to be released into orbit in early April. MinXSS will measure X-rays from the solar corona.

Courtesy:  Christopher Moore

Small, lightweight satellites called CubeSats are giving students of all ages the chance to build and launch a real satellite.  The first-ever satellite built by grade school students is aboard the International Space Station and will be released into orbit as early as next week.  Graduate students at the University of Colorado also have a CubeSat ready for release from the ISS, and recently won a grant from NASA to design a satellite that could operate beyond the moon.  Doug Duncan, director of the Fiske Planetarium in Boulder, spoke about CubeSats with Colorado Matters' host Ryan Warner.