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Integration of CubeSats: big talent comes in small packages

From to , the Canadian Space Agency (CSA) hosted two teams from the Canadian CubeSat Project (CCP) who participated in integrating their nanosatellites into a module that will be launched from the International Space Station (ISS). It was an emotional moment for the teams, who reaped the rewards of years of hard work.

Representatives from Dalhousie University and the University of Victoria take part in the integration of their CubeSat

Representatives from the Dalhousie University and University of Victoria teams. (Credit: CSA)

The CCP teams have been hard at work designing and building their CubeSats since . Over the past four years, they have faced many challenges, including the COVID-19 pandemic. To find out more about their adventures, check out the News section of our website.

Many teams have used their ingenuity to stay on track. Although our world was turned upside down, Earth continued to spin. And it's not every day that you get the chance to participate in a real space mission! Through changes in team composition, health regulations, and shortages of components, the students continued to work hard. With their goal in mind, two teams made it to the finish line in time for the June integration: Dalhousie University (Nova Scotia) and University of Victoria (British Columbia).

The integration of the LORIS and ORCASat CubeSats into the Nanoracks CubeSat Deployer – a delicate process that requires skill – went smoothly, under the watchful and sometimes even emotional gaze of those involved in the project.

Representatives from Dalhousie University and the University of Victoria are integrating a CubeSat on the Nanoracks

A CubeSat is integrated into the Nanoracks CubeSat Deployer, which will deploy the CubeSat into space from the ISS. (Credit: UVic CfAR/Alexander Doknjas)

For these two teams, the integration was the very last step before launching their CubeSats into space, the culmination of countless efforts. For the CSA experts, it was also a milestone: all the advice and expertise provided over the years were reflected in these space-ready nanosatellites.

Canadian CubeSat Project teams at the CSA. (Credit: CSA)

But this is just the beginning! This fall, new teams will be integrating their CubeSats at the CSA and teams from British Columbia and Nova Scotia will witness the launch of their nanosatellites to the ISS. Once the CubeSats are launched into space, the period of data collection and scientific experiments will begin. It is likely that many people across Canada will be watching with interest to see what happens next with the CubeSats.

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