• The San Juan Daily Star

Puerto Rico-made satellite to enter into orbit Tuesday

The Puerto Rico CubeSat NanoRocks-2 (PR-CuNaR2) satellite will be placed in orbit from the International Space Station on Tuesday morning.

By John McPhaul

Inter-American University of Puerto Rico (UIPR by its Spanish initials) President Manuel J. Fernós announced Thursday that the Puerto Rico CubeSat NanoRocks-2 (PR-CuNaR2) satellite will be placed in orbit on Tuesday at 8:30 a.m.

From that moment, the PR-CuNaR2, which was created and developed by Dr. Amilcar Rincón Charris and a group of students from the School of Engineering at the UIPR’s Bayamón campus, will be released from the International Space Station, by the Japanese Space Agency to begin orbiting around planet Earth.

PR-CuNaR2 will be placed in 51.6 orbit, which the professor and the students chose so that the Puerto Rican satellite passes twice daily over Puerto Rico for up to a maximum of 10 minutes. Inside, the satellite has stainless steel and silicon microparticles that emulate asteroids.

The microparticles will be colliding while the satellite orbits. The movements and collisions of the microparticles will be recorded as part of a scientific investigation that seeks to study the formation of planets, young stars and asteroids. This part of the research is to be carried out in collaboration with the Florida Space Institute and the Department of Physics at the University of Central Florida.

Through PR-CuNaR2, Puerto Rico is positioned among the few countries that have built this type of craft and managed to place it in space. The launch can be seen live through a link that the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) will publish.

“In a few days Puerto Rico and Inter-American University will make history by putting into orbit a satellite created entirely from the academy,” Fernós said.

He added that “then a research process related to the creation and formation of the cosmos will begin, thus contributing to science and subsequent studies.”

“We are very proud of the work carried out by Professor Rincón Charris and by each of the students who have been part of this project over the years,” the UIPR president said. “This is a project that fills Puerto Ricans with hope, who have seen how even in times of adversity this work team has come out ahead, putting the name of Puerto Rico and the Inter-American up high.”

“On Tuesday we will take a huge step forward in our investigation,” Rincón Charris said. “One of the most important days in our work plan has arrived since we started the development of this project in 2018. Placing a satellite into orbit is the result of an arduous and very rigorous work plan that was sometimes threatened by vulnerability of the conditions we have faced as a society. However, the perseverance, tenacity and willpower of all of us who have been part of this project will allow us to enjoy and celebrate this moment while contributing to science and motivating new generations to make their ideas and empower their dreams.”

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