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Cal Poly team travels to Cambodia to help set up CubeSat program

Posted at 7:00 AM, Sep 14, 2019
and last updated 2019-09-14 10:00:46-04

A team from Cal Poly is helping a group of Cambodian high school students launch their very own space program.

Aerospace Engineering Assistant Professor Pauline Faure and Computer Engineering Senior Justin Nguyen traveled to Cambodia in August to visit the Liger Leadership Academy in Phnom Penh.

Students there wanted to build and launch a softball-sized CubeSat, along with a mini-ground station to communicate with it.

Cal Poly has a lot of experience with CubeSats. The mini-satellites were first developed more than 20 years ago by two professors from Cal Poly and Stanford University. Since 2003, Cal Poly has been involved in more than 10 CubeSats launches - most recently, the successful LightSail 2 project.

Cambodia currently does not have a space program.

Faure and Nguyen reportedly spent ten days helping the Cambodian students set up their ground station. Nguyen says they hope to eventually connect it to the Cal Poly Ground Station Network.

Cal Poly says the Cambodian students have applied for a grant from the U.S. Embassy in Phnom Penh so they can travel to San Luis Obispo next summer and work with Cal Poly students to start assembling and testing their CubeSat.