Boston University TERRIERS Team Gearing Up To Launch Satellite: Preparation For Shipping To Vandenberg Air Force Base Begins

March 03, 1999

Event: TERRIERS, a satellite designed and built by a team of undergraduate and graduate students and faculty at Boston University, is now being prepared for shipping to Vandenberg Air Force Base, where it will be launched on April 7, 1999. Opportunities to interview and photograph team members performing final tests on the satellite are now available.

When: Today through Friday, March 5

Where: The Center for Space Physics at Boston University, 725 Commonwealth Avenue, Boston, 5th Floor

Who: Members of the TERRIERS team, including students and faculty who have been involved in the creation of the satellite as well as those who will operate the satellite, will be available for press interviews.

What: The TERRIERS satellite will produce unprecedented three-dimensional images of the ionosphere giving scientists valuable information about this level of the upper atmosphere. This will enable them to better predict space weather, which can affect communication systems on earth.

TERRIERS Facts & Figures

Boston University's TERRIERS satellite, designed and built by a team of undergraduate students, graduate students and faculty will be launched April 7, 1999, from the Vandenberg Air Force Base, near Lompoc,CA.

The launch is scheduled to take place at 9 PM PST (midnight EST) on April 7th, and will pass directly over Boston for the first time at 9 AM on April 8th.

The satellite will be launched from a Pegasus rocket.

A team of undergraduate student operators at B.U. will control and monitor the satellite as it passes over Boston in a sun-synchronous orbit.

The acronym TERRIERS stands for Tomographic Experiment using Radiative Recombinative Ionospheric EUV and Radio Sources

TERRIERS will produce a three-dimensional image of the upper atmosphere similar to the image of the human body provided by a CAT scan. Satellite data will help scientists predict space weather conditions in the ionosphere which can disrupt communications systems on Earth.

TERRIERS is part of NASA's Student Explorer Demonstration Initiative(STEDI)which addresses the challenge of making orbital science accessible to students and fulfills NASA Administrator Daniel Goldin's promise to develop "faster, better, and cheaper" methods of exploring space.

The process began in 1994 when, out of a field of 66 applicants,Boston University was chosen as one of six recipients of $160,000 in Phase I funding from NASA to be used in a four month planning period.

In 1997, Boston University was awarded $4.1 million in Phase II funding for construction, launch and operation of the satellite.

Phase II funding was awarded on the basis of three principal criteria: probability of mission success, scientific or technological importance, and student involvement.

Since the inception of the project, more than sixty undergraduate and graduate students at B.U. have been involved in the science, theory,design, instrument development, and testing of the satellite.

Other collaborators in the TERRIERS include AeroAstro Corp., MIT's Haystack Observatory, the Naval Research laboratory and Cleveland Heights High School.

Boston University

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