The Oak Ridge City Council recently approved a resolution honoring the Robertsville Middle School students who created the RamSat.
The small satellite was launched from Cape Canaveral June 3 aboard a SpaceX rocket with students, teachers and mentors watching from the beach. It will take research photos of vegetation lost to the 2016 wildfires in the Gatlinburg, Tennessee area. It’s named after the Robertsville mascot, the Ram.
“Students designed, built and carried out a satellite mission; they are now recognized as mission scientists, communication specialists and logistics experts; they calculated orbits, learned to aim the satellite camera at selected targets, to radio their commands to RamSat and to receive and interpret digital data streams,” the resolution stated. “The city is fortunate to have such outstanding young men and women participating in this project, along with their instructors and mentors, as part of the Oak Ridge community.”
Students worked with mentors from Oak Ridge National Laboratory on the mini satellite, which is 200 millimeters by 100 milimeters by 100 milimeters.
ORNL scientist Peter Thornton posted to Facebook Tuesday that RamSat’s left the International Space Station at 5:05 a.m. June 14, “and a room full of excited but groggy students, parents, teachers, and mentors watched it via live stream.”
Ben Pounds is a staff reporter for The Oak Ridger. Call him at (865) 441-2317, and follow him on Twitter @Bpoundsjournal.