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Lockheed Martin Engineers Mentor Florida High School Students on Upcoming Launch of Nano-Satellite

Employees from Lockheed Martin visited with approximately 50 students enrolled in Merritt Island High School’s (MIHS) da Vinci Academy of Aerospace Technology and CubeSat program on May 1. Mark Calassa, vice president and program manager of the AEHF program, along with several AEHF employees, discussed the upcoming launch of the U.S. Air Force’s second Advanced Extremely High Frequency (AEHF) military communications satellite and the CubeSat program’s nano-satellite project.

Mark Calassa, vice president and program manager of the AEHF program, speaks to MIHS students on the AEHF program.

The students’ nano-satellite will be integrated with the United Launch Alliance Atlas 531 rocket that will launch Lockheed Martin’s second AEHF satellite into orbit May 3. It will communicate with a California Polytechnic State University satellite to assist commercial companies with the balance needed to protect against launch vibrations and additional costs resulting from over-design. To help the students review their project and to discuss real-life engineering comparisons, the CubeSat program students presented their projects to Lockheed Martin engineers and held open discussions on lessons learned, technology challenges and project requirements.

The visit was part of the company’s Engineers in the Classroom program and an ongoing mentor relationship Lockheed Martin has had with MIHS since 2009, serving as da Vinci Academy of Aerospace Technology advisory team members and student mentors to encourage the study of Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM).

“For decades, Lockheed Martin has dedicated resources to work with schools, teachers and students to generate excitement about STEM,” said Kevin Bilger, Lockheed Martin Space Systems vice president and general manager of Global Communications Systems.  “We are thrilled to engage and encourage MIHS students to continue their pursuit of STEM and look forward to their nano-satellite project success.”