King’s Cansat successfully launches in Cambridge

Our Cansat team launched their satellite last week after undertaking a complex engineering project led by the physics department over the last few months.

Cansat is a competition run by the European Space Agency which challenges participants to build a satellite that can sit inside a container the size of a drink can and parachute it safely back to earth after launching it 300m into the air.

The team used our DT Department’s 3D printer to design the can—which they had to fit an Arduino, sensors, radio and a 9V battery inside—and additionally sought to build their satellite to transmit data on air temperature, pressure and pollution back to a base station.

See full photos from the launch here!

Their extremely technical project was completed at weekly meetings during the Wednesday activities period, with the pupils involved throwing themselves wholeheartedly behind the venture.

With some technical errors still to be fixed on the final evening before the launch, they insisted on staying in the lab until 10:15 pm when they had to leave to get some sleep before an early departure up to Cambridge for the competition.

Although the data wasn’t transmitted, the pupils succeeded in the core part of the mission by fitting the can perfectly into the rocket and launching it 300m upwards—a complex feat in itself!

Physics teacher Dr Elias said: “I can’t stress enough how proud I am of this team who did not want to leave the lab until everything worked. There were cries of joy and heads shaken in frustration, but overall there was the determination to succeed.”

See Dr Elias’ Watch The Skies Instagram page here.

With this being the School’s first attempt at Cansat, there are already plans in place for a new entry next year.

Find out more about the sciences at King’s here.