Opportunity has passed

On February 13, NASA had declared the Opportunity rover had officially ceased communication. Opportunity was deployed in 2003 and was anticipated to operate for 90 days, but has remained functional for a record 15 years. Opportunity’s mission was to analyze Martian soil for traces of water, of which it has confirmed is present. The mission results validate and encourage our desire to explore the red planet.

Our NEUDOSE mission seeks to ensure that humanity will be able to perform safer space travel, with a more advanced knowledge of the effects of solar radiation on humans outside our Earth’s protective magnetosphere. Our CNP-TEPC (Charged and Neutral Particle - Tissue Equivalent Proportional Counter) instrument allows us to distinguish between ionized and non-ionized radiation and to estimate doses received during space travel.



CNP-TEPC Instrument reacting to radiation

CNP-TEPC Instrument reacting to radiation

Total Eclipse of the Moon

Tonight, the Total Lunar Eclipse will be visible in Hamilton. A lunar eclipse, when the Earth casts a shadow on the moon, is quite a rare event and Totality will not be visible in Hamilton again until May 2022. The moon turns a red colour once the Earth fully blocks the sun. Similar to the ring we see during an annular solar eclipse, the moon sees a bright red ring around the Earth. This ring is red due to the contents of our atmosphere. Volcanic activity is also capable of influencing the appearance of the moon during an eclipse and can make it significantly darker.

For more information and a live animation of tonight’s total lunar eclipse, visit this link.

Progress in practice


As the year begins to draw to an end, we reflect on our progress and challenges overcome throughout the year. One example of progress in our NEUDOSE mission is in our Pressure Vessel Enclosure, designed by our Mechanical team. The picture above shows the design iterations (in order from left to right). As the project progressed, certain parameters continued to change/develop. Some of these design constraints include: Space requirements, strength of the material, load capabilities, and ease of integration. Our experienced team adapted to these changes and proceeded to apply their skills and knowledge, refined at school here at McMaster University, to the design changes.

Fun Fact: Theoretically, a sphere is the optimal shape of a pressure vessel due to the even stress distribution. However, due to the difficulty and cost of manufacturing a perfect sphere, often cylinders with rounded ends are used.

Soldering Lecture Oct. 1 @ CNH 103

Soldering is the fundamental process that allows for the creation of structural and electrical bonds between two separate objects. It is necessary for the fabrication of most microelectronics; from computers to cellphones, and even to satellites! But what happens when we send these soldered electronics to the vacuum of space?

Find out at our second General Lecture! Monday October 1st, at McMaster University’s Chester New Hall (CNH) 103 @ 6:30 pm.


First General Lecture

On Monday, September 17, we hosted our first General Lecture. We were able to introduce our mission and team to the students of McMaster who have shown interest in joining the project. With recruitment around the corner, we wanted to showcase the different subteams to provide applicants with a clearer image of what is expected in each team.

Thanks to all who came! For those who missed it, the slides are available here

Rising to the Challenge - HASP 2018 Preparation

As preparations for the flight of the High Altitude Student Platform (HASP) enter their final days, team members Luis and Jimmy took the trip to Fort Sumner, New Mexico to ensure our NEUDOSE Instrument is set up on the platform to specification. Some of their main responsibilities are ensuring the instrument is secure and all the required systems are communicating as planned. Weather permitting, the platform will fly this weekend, sending 12 student payloads to 36km altitude.

The Power Distribution Module 2.0


This sub-component is responsible for stabilizing and supplying voltage for the extremely sensitive electronics to the rest of the science instrument. By providing stable voltages (in some cases between +/- 1 mV !), we maintain high precision in our scientific measurements.

As anything we do, practice makes perfect. This board is our 2nd full revision, after iterations from initial testing (rev 0) to HASP 2017 (rev 1.0)'s fully assembled and functional model.