Project Rapid has kicked off CubeSat development with the Blue Dawn mission. Blue Dawn is a 2u CubeSat form-factor mission that will be carrying a scientific payload to space aboard Blue Origin's New Shepard rocket in late 2018.
The payload was selected by the Ken Souza Memorial Student Spaceflight Competition to study the behavior of a Magnetohydrodynamic (MHD) pump in a microgravity environment. This type of pump, which in contrast to traditional pumps has no mechanical moving parts, may prove to have the potential to increase the reliability of life support systems in space. Data from this mission will be analyzed with the help of UCLA researchers and will be made available to the public at the completion of the mission.
Under Project Rapid, students with the highest levels of engineering/management skills and project experience will seek mission and flight opportunities that will incorporate UCLA researchers and/or industry partnerships to develop CubeSats for launch. Rapid missions are intended to encompass any and all space opportunities, including scientific investigations and technology demonstrations. They will be geared towards quick and efficient mission development so that students involved will have the opportunity to experience a CubeSat program end-to-end during their college career.