RCTC students create satellites on Falcon 9

(ABC 6 News) – Rochester Community and Technical College (RCTC) students learned Wednesday that the sky is not the limit. A team of Rochester students watched the rocket, "Falcon 9" launch today off of the Florida coast carrying their satellites.

This Rochester group is one of five CubeSat teams worldwide that are a part of a program known as P-Tech 535. Aside from Rochester, the other teams are located in Colorado, the United Kingdom as well as two teams from Taiwan.

The P-Tech program is partnered with IBM (International Business Machines Corporation) and a European space business known as EnduroSat. Together, the teams have opportunities to learn about engineering and coding.

This mission is known as the Endurance Project, and between the three organizations the goal is to make space reachable and accessible to everyone. This is one step in streamlining accessibility and opportunities for space exploration to school children.

"It was crazy, cause there is only five of us in the whole world and only two in this country," freshman Earth Tieskotter said. "That’s just been a really great opportunity to have."

Tieskotter says she joined the program because she wants to be an astronaut in the future. With this program, students are one step closer to their future.

"For kids to have that opportunity, it brings learning to real life," CubeSat team advisor, Vince Wagner, said. "It’s really going to motivate their code writing, their math…I think that’s what education should be about."

The P-tech 535 group will be working and coding the satellites from Project Endurance currently in orbit over the next two years.