Update: November 15 - The second launch attempt was also scrubbed due to upper level high winds. They are preparing for a 24-hour turnaround, but it appears that the forecast is for conditions to continue for the next couple of days.
About 50 Embry Riddle University students gathered at 2 AM Tuesday morning to watch the launch of a new National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) satellite, aimed to improve longer-term weather forecasting. That Joint Polar Satellite System 1 (JPSS-1) was also carrying 5 CubeSats, one of which was developed by Embry Riddle students. Unfortunately, at the last minute, the launch was scrubbed.
Although the students were disappointed, they understood that it was better to wait until it can be done safely. Student Project Director, Debbie Jackson spoke about the launch and the decision to scrub it for now:
NASA reports that there will be another attempt to launch Wednesday morning, at 2:47 AM, Prescott time.
The ERAU CubeSat has been nicknamed the EagleSat. ERAU explains it here:
"The Eagle Sat is a research and design lab for the Eagle Sat space grant project. The first cubesat design is to create a test bed to analyze the degradation of data on the current solid state memory devices used today such as flash memory, SD cards, memory sticks, etc. It has been hypothesized that the radiation belt in the upper atmosphere of our planets could destroy these devices ability to store information actually and we are going to test that. The cubesat has also been equipped with a GPS device so our students can track the degradation of the orbit of this satellite. There is quite a lot of space debris circling our planet and not much is known about how long these objects will stay there. Hopefully with a known mass, launch altitude, and trajectory we can learn a bit more about these objects orbiting our planet in low earth orbits. Once launched the satellite ground station on campus will be able to communicate with this satellite for nine minutes every day as it passes over head."
Selected by NASA during Spring 2012 as a 1U CubeSat, it is a primarily student-run extracurricular project. Students that interested in getting involved were recruited to help with the project.