Student-built McMaster satellite set to go into orbit


Published March 14, 2023 at 10:43 am

A satellite developed by more than 100 researchers at McMaster University, that could support a future human mission to Mars, is set to be launched into space on Tuesday night.

And the NEUDOSE mini-satellite can fit in your hand, or sit on your nightstand and leave room for books.

The made-in-Hamilton orbiter device, at this writing, is at the famed Kennedy Space Center in Cape Canaveral, Fla., where it is due to be loaded on to a SpaceX rocket that will ferry it to the International Space Station. The purpose of NEUDOSE, as explained at, is to help develop technology that would add layers of protection for astronauts on longer deep-space missions. The orbiter measures the radiation levels that astronauts are exposed to on missions. Radiation exposure heightens risks of developing cancers and nerve damage.

The name, pronounced just how it looks, is a portmanteau of neutron dosimetry (a measurement of radiation doses) and exploration. With better data, the theory goes, missions could be longer.

The average space mission is around six months. The North American Space Agency (NASA) says a mission to Mars would take 21 months, or thrice as long — nine months to get there, three months there, and nine months to return to Earth.

The idea was first conceived at McMaster in 2015, and was supported by a 2018 grant from the Canadian Space Agency, along with various sponsors. Researchers and students across the disciplines of engineering, math, medicine, and the sciences have contributed.

A team from Mac is down at Kennedy for the launch, which is slated for 8:30 p.m. on Tuesday (March 14).

A deeper explanation of how NEUDOSE was made at McMaster is also available at a

(Images/video: McMaster University.)

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