Siena's student-built Firefly takes off in rocket Tuesday night - NEWS10 ABC: Albany, New York News, Weather, Sports

Siena student-built satellite takes off in a rocket

Air Force Minotaur One Rocket Air Force Minotaur One Rocket

LOUDONVILLE, N.Y. – A satellite built by Siena College science students took off in a rocket from Virginia Tuesday night.

The satellite, nicknamed Firefly, was built to discover how lightening starts.

"Our satellite is going to be the first one to look down on lightening and try to see the optical signatures of lightening and these Gamma rays," said Siena School of Science Dean Dr. Allan Weatherwax.

A $1 million grant from the National Science Foundation made the satellite possible.

Proud science majors and professors gathered in New York Tuesday night to catch a glimpse of the Air Force Minotaur One Rocket in space as it was launched from NASA's flight facility in Wallops Island, Va.

 "I can say we built something that's involved with NASA, taking it into space," one science student said.

Firefly was one of 28 other satellites on board the rocket.

As the satellite collects data, the students will then begin to analyze the information that comes in.

"Science at Siena, it's a wonderful thing," Weatherwax said. 

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