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The creation of space-rocket hardware (SRH) is a complex process that requires the intellectual work of many specialists: scientists, designers, radio mechanics, technologists, programmers, electronics engineers, and representatives of many other specialties. SRH is at the forefront of new technologies, and thus it dictates the special requirements for the level of training of future specialists within this industry.

In countries with developed economies, this project approach is used for learning purposes to train specialists. Students in higher education institutions and even high schools with the help of tutors (practitioners) can create their own small satellites weighing 1-3 kg for educational purposes. Such CubeSats (the word CubeSat is an acknowledged term standard for small educational satellites) are launched with help of the government either together with professional-grade satellites on large rockets or by cosmonauts from the ISS. There are also other options for launching students satellites, such as launches on non-professional rockets to heights of 2-3 km (CanSat movement), launches on aerostats to heights of 30-50 km, or carrying out experiments on board of ISS in zero gravity. The role of such experiments cannot be overestimated – try it and you will understand for yourself!

In Russia, the educational process is traditionally rather conservative. We continue to use approaches from the previous century. A special “Russian way of training” engineers that optimally combines theoretical knowledge and practical skills was previously used, for example, at the Bauman Technical University, but has remained in the Soviet past despite attempts to change the situation. In practice, creating educational satellites is very rare. No team wants to have students, and even more so schoolchildren, involved in real space projects. There is an understanding that modern approaches should be introduced into education, first in school and then in higher educational institutions, as it is done in Moscow Polytechnic University and some other educational institutes.

We believe that training future engineers should begin at a young age by actively involving schoolchildren in practical work with hardware in order to give them an idea of how real satellites work. To do this, we have created an educational instrument – the OrbiCraft construction set. OrbiCraft is a construction set for assembling functional models of spacecraft vehicles. The set includes the following components: frame, orientation sensors, actuators, cable network, software, and payload. It is meant to give students a hands-on approach to the design process, assembly, testing, and operation of spacecrafts. Ultimately, it will allow students to design, test, launch, and operate in “space” (on a special laboratory stand) their very own, albeit simple, “spacecraft.”

The final result of such training should be the acquisition of knowledge and skills that will enable students to take meaningful part in the design and launch of “CubeSats” (a satellite weighing 1 kg and having a full set of essential sensors and systems for work in space). Specialists with real experience in such projects will be in high demand within the space industry for work on important and interesting projects.

en/intro.txt · Last modified: 2020/03/25 16:28 (external edit)