By Cleve Bryan
GLASSBORO, N.J, (CBS) — Some Rowan University students have an incredible opportunity that is out of this world.
If you were to tell these engineering students “the sky’s the limit” on their education, you’d be wrong. Some are about to embark on learning beyond the atmosphere — experiments in space.
“I’m really, really excited,” said Assistant Electrical and Computing Engineering Professor Sangho Shin.
Shin just got approval from NASA to send a research project into orbit. It’s about memristors, a type of experimental electrical circuit that can be used to store incredibly large amounts of data using very little power.
“Probably in the near future I believe the memristor may replace flash memories and DRAMs, any types of computer storage devices,” said Shin.
Rowan doesn’t actually have a memristor device yet — getting picked by NASA was step one and required competing with the likes of MIT. They have to build the device and a cube satellite it can orbit in.
“Tremendous opportunity in terms of research opportunity and educational opportunity,” said Shin.
When the project is complete the satellite will only be about the size of a softball but there will be lots of hands in the development. They expect up to two dozen students will take part.
“The opportunity to have their work, their signature on a cube satellite in space I think is one that will stay with them for a very, very long time,” said Chair of Eowan Electrical and Computer Engineering Department Robi Polikar.
And the countdown to launch — two years and one month.