FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. (KNWA/KFTA) — The so-called “CubeSat,” a small satellite created by engineer researchers at the University of Arkansas, blasted off on March 14 as part of SpaceX’s Falcon 9 mission to the International Space Station.

As part of NASA’s Educational Launch of Nanosatellites mission and CubeSat Launch Initiative, the U of A satellite, a 10-centimeter, or nearly 4-inch, cube dubbed “ARKSAT-1,” entered space aboard the Falcon 9, a commercial resupply services mission to the station for NASA.

According to the U of A, ARKSAT-1 will be deployed from the station in late April and will illuminate a light-emitting-diode from orbit and use a ground spectrometer to track and perform atmospheric measurements.

At the end of its mission, the U of A says ARKSAT-1 will also deploy a lightweight balloon that will inflate and increase the satellite’s drag to help it reenter Earth’s atmosphere and safely disintegrate. The technology used for this second mission was developed to help reduce the amount of time a small satellite remains “space junk” in low orbit after a mission has ended.

Led by Adam Huang, professor of mechanical engineering, development of ARKSAT-1 was a “collaborative effort,” and included contributions from Larry Roe, associate professor of mechanical engineering and director of the Arkansas Center for Space and Planetary Sciences; Vincent Chevrier, associate research professor at the Arkansas Center for Space and Planetary Sciences; Ed Wilson and Charles Wu at Harding University; Yupo Chan at the University of Arkansas at Little Rock; Constance Meadors at Pulaski Technical College; and many students, the U of A says.

Huang and Sam Cano, a doctoral student in Space and Planetary Sciences, attended the launch at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Cape Canaveral, Fla.