It was a project that started in 2017 at the University of Saskatchewan with a grant application. Six years later, and with a lot of hard work, the first-ever satellite built in Saskatchewan will be heading to space this week, and the southeast plays a huge role in the final product.  

Weyburn’s Arliss Sidloski is the co-technical project manager of the satellite project, dubbed RADSAT-SK. They were part of the Canadian CubeSat project. After years of hard work, things recently wrapped up, and the launch is now days away. 

“We delivered our CubeSAT to the Canadian Space Agency earlier in March, and now it’s set to launch in Florida from Cape Canaveral on Saturday,” Sidloski explained.  

The project was initially scheduled to launch last year, but there were some delays that were outside of the control of the team itself, such as the COVID-19 pandemic. Now, the fruits of the labour will be propelled into space aboard a Space-X rocket.  

“It was a bit of a letdown, honestly,” Sidloski said of the delays. “But we were grateful for the extra time. We experienced a lot of unforeseen challenges so having the time to work them out so that we could deliver a successful satellite, that’s really great.” 

The satellite will be focusing on radiation-based research. They will be looking at how melanin can be used as potential cosmic radiation shielding in space. The CubeSat program was an initiative developed by the Canadian Space Agency to help increase student interest in STEM, while also involving them in real space missions. 

“It’s such a big project, I think it really means a lot to a lot of the communities, like the USask Community, the space community and it’s really amazing to be part of such a large project,” she continued.  

For the launch, the team that built the satellite won’t be watching from back home in Saskatoon. Instead, they will be heading to Florida to see the launch in person. Along with the team from the university, they will be joined by other teams that are part of the Canadian CubeSat project and personnel from the Canadian Space Agency.  

Sidloski thanked many of the partners they worked with throughout the project, including the CSA, the College of Engineering, the USask Space Design team, and Saskatchewan Polytechnic. Other partners included Galaxia Mission Systems and Calian Advanced Technologies.

As for what is next for the team? 

“We’ve been telling people to keep their ears out for an announcement that the CSA is going to make on June 2nd, and I’ll leave it at that.”

Mission Patch