Students from four University of Hawaii Community Colleges are in the final phases of developing and testing a scientific instrument that will be launched into space from NASA’s Wallops Flight Facility in Virginia.
On August 11, a rocket carrying a device designed and built by students from Honolulu, Kapiolani, Kauai and Windward community colleges will be launched from Wallops into suborbital flight, as part of a multicampus collaboration known as Project Imua (Hawaiian for “to move forward”). The UH Community College team was the only community college whose payload was selected for this launch.
The main component consists of a UV spectrometer that will analyze the intensity of the sun’s ultraviolet radiation before it enters Earth’s atmosphere.
Project Imua is a joint faculty-student enterprise that involves design, construction and testing phases. It’s funded by a two-year, $500,000 grant awarded under the NASA Space Grant Competitive Opportunity for Partnerships with Community Colleges and Technical Schools.
Future launches are envisioned at the Pacific Missile Range Facility on Kauai through the University of Hawaii at Manoa’s Hawaii Space Flight Laboratory (HSFL).