Now that it is complete, developers hope the project will soon be up in the air.
Saint Louis University’s first spacecraft that has been designed, built, tested and operated by students at Parks College of Engineering, Aviation and Technology, is tentatively scheduled for launch today (Tuesday) from the Mid-Atlantic Regional Spaceport in Virginia.
The Air Force Research Laboratory and NASA Missouri Space Grant funded the project development and the launch of COPPER is sponsored by NASA.
COPPER's mission is to test the effectiveness of a commercial infrared camera for in-space navigation and object detection, as well as observing the Earth in the infrared spectrum.
Parks College students will operate COPPER for 12 months from a radio control station in McDonnell-Douglas Hall on the SLU campus.
The spacecraft will naturally fall from orbit in about four years. More than 50 undergraduate and graduate students worked to create COPPER over the past three years.
U.S. News and World Reports has published its annual ranking of the best colleges and universities in the country. Princeton is number one among universities and Williams ranks tops among colleges. The publication followed a new formula this year that put more emphasis on student graduation rates, a school's reputation among its peers, and faculty resources. Locally, Washington University was selected to the number-14 spot, the University of Illinois at number-41, Missouri at 97 and just out of the top-100 is Saint Louis University ranked at 101.
Less than a week after students and faculty marched in protest of Saint Louis University President, Father Lawrence Biondi, he stepped down.
Bionbi announced his plan to resign in front of a crowd at Chairfetz Arena during a celebration of his 25 years of leadership. A statement released by SLU on Saturday night said in part, "Just as I helped lead SLU's transformation when I arrive here more than 25 years ago, I know it is now time for the next transformation to begin."
Biondi says he will assist in the search for a new president. That process will start this fall.
Xavier (17-12, 9-6 A-10) ended a long winning streak for the second time in eight days. The Musketeers snapped Memphis' 18-game streak at the Cintas Center last week.
The Billikens (23-6, 12-3) haven't won a share of a conference title since 1970-71 in the Missouri Valley. Their last outright title came in 1956-57. They could have clinched the No. 1 seed in the conference tournament with a win on Wednesday.
Instead, they fell into a first-place tie with No. 21 VCU, which beat Richmond on Wednesday. Saint Louis beat VCU during its 11-game winning streak for the head-to-head advantage.
Saint Louis finishes the season at home against third-place La Salle on Saturday. VCU is at Temple on Sunday.