“I was 8 years old when I asked Santa for my first telescope.”

Solange loves space. She always has. Growing up off-grid on a eucalyptus plantation in regional NSW, she spent a lot of time under the night sky looking up at the stars. Her deep fascination with space inspired her to study science and technology in high school, and then aerospace engineering at university.

That’s where she met Sebastian. They were both interning at a satellite company in Sydney, and they hit it off when they realised they shared a life mission – to send things into space.

Together they founded Cuberider. It’s a program that allows high school students to design and program their own experiments on NASA approved hardware, and send them up to the International Space Station. Their 2016 launch was the first ever Australian payload to reach the ISS… and it wasn’t sent by scientists or engineers, but by teenagers!

Once the hardware reaches the space station, the astronauts plug it in and the students’ pre-programmed experiments begin collecting all sorts of data - temperature, luminosity, images, ultraviolet, magnetism, acceleration and more. The data is streamed back to Earth where the students get to analyse their results.

Designing an experiment that’s never been tried before requires coding, maths, and physics, sure. But most importantly, it requires creativity. And the results of Cuberider’s experiments have in turn inspired all kinds of artistic and creative projects back here on Earth. Sharing ideas and working with your mates in the classroom to bring together artistic and analytical skills has produced the best results in Cuberider, according to Solange

Her advice? Science is so broad, we need all types of people to contribute. If you’ve got something you’re interested in, talk to a friend and see what you can come up with together!

 

 

Think you’ve got an idea that could make you Australia’s next biggest entrepreneur? Check out the IP Australia website to get tips on how to protect your intellectual property, and make sure to tell us your story.

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