It’s a bird, it’s a plane, it’s a weather satellite – RHMS students collect data 17 miles in the air

    Students in the Rose Hill Middle School Satellite Club worked all year for the big launch. All their hard work paid off on June 9 when six of their satellites floated to an elevation of 90,312 feet collecting weather data. The team of 13 sixth- and seventh-graders designed and built the 7” by 7” cube satellites for conducting atmospheric research. Students worked in teams to program the flight computers and sensors to collect the information. The satellites were able to document temperature, humidity and other weather conditions while attached to a weather balloon.

    The group gathered at Devrie’s Dairy Farm in Moxee, Wash. for the launch. A transmitter with GPS tracking enabled the students to follow the real time position and speed of the satellites using a phone app. The satellites traveled at speeds of 60 miles per hour before falling back to Earth using a parachute. The equipment landed 150 miles north, near Waterville. The students attached video cameras to the satellites and spent the last few weeks of school reviewing the flight footage and analyzing the collected data. Club members used “space gummy bears” as the passengers for the flight. They were eaten shortly after landing.

    The satellite club partnered with Tyee Middle School in Bellevue School District for the event. The following 13 club members were on hand for the launch: Ally Paik, Keerthana Radapuram, Marcin Anforowicz, Anthony Popescu, Ishaan Panda, Hana Smith, Danci Underwood, Ariane Pereira, Elliott Tai, Arie Tai, Caleb Ferrin, Elijah Smith and Sai Anirudh Musham.