Cal Poly ‘DAVE’ CubeSat to launch along with NASA satellite on S - KSBY.com | San Luis Obispo and Santa Barbara Area News

Cal Poly ‘DAVE’ CubeSat to launch along with NASA satellite on Saturday

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"DAVE," or the Damping and Vibrations Experiment, is about to make its big debut in outer space. Students and staff at Cal Poly have been working on this special cube satellite for more than 10 years. 

"It hasn't been tested in space before and the problem is, if it hasn't been tested in space, nobody wants to include it on a large spacecraft because it's high risk. So what we're going to do with DAVE is, we're going to test the dampening technology on a low-risk spacecraft, in a one-use CubeSat. The data we get back from the test will hopefully be able to justify further exploration of this dampening technology for adoption on a spacecraft," explained Cal Poly professor Dr. John Bellardo. 

DAVE will be attached to the final launch of the Delta II rocket, scheduled to take off from Vandenberg Air Force Base on Saturday. 

Once in space, the team at Cal Poly will be able to learn more about particle dampers, which could potentially reduce equipment bouncing around while in orbit. 

"So it's similar to the brakes on your car, they damper your car, they slow you down. In space, you have the same thing. There's energy, it's not driving down the road, but there's still energy. There's certain types of energy and there's certain times you need to take them out; the dampener does just that," Bellardo said. 

Students who have worked on this project say they're excited to finally see the DAVE CubeSat sent to outer space. 

"I spent almost an entire summer of just nonstop work two years ago on this and finally seeing it go will just be really amazing," said Cal Poly student Christopher Gerdom. 

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