One of the purposes of UoS3 is to improve the educational experience of the students from across our University. It is common for CubeSat projects to focus mainly, or even solely, on engineering and science students that take part in design, manufacture, and utilisation of the satellites. It is a meaningful thing to do because students from those areas are likely going to end up working with satellites in their professional lives, so giving them such an experience at the university level helps them start with their careers as quickly as possible.
However, the vastness of space has always inspired people and continues to do so. Now even more so because satellites and spaceflight are increasingly more important components of our daily lives. However, spacecraft are surrounded by a shroud of mystery; very few people have seen or can imagine what a satellite looks like or how it is made. This makes satellites seem like mysterious observers that are persistently there but we do not really know what they are.
At Southampton, we pride ourselves with a vast range of undergraduate and graduate courses, including arts majors, such as fine arts or graphic design. We decided to invite students from these areas to collaborate with us on the UoS3 project to unveil some of the mystery that surrounds satellites. We organised a talk at the Winchester School of Arts where students could, completely voluntarily, listen to what our satellite project is about and look for areas where they might get involved. We honestly did not anticipate how many students were attracted to space and wanted to be a part of UoS3!
Ultimately, 31 fine arts and graphic design students expressed their interest in the project and would like to get involved. We are extremely happy to be able to inspire them with what we do and hope that this will continue.