(WVEC) -- A group of local college students are getting hands-on experience with NASA.
It's part of a partnership with NASA and Virginia colleges. The state-wide collaboration has the potential to make history for students locally.
"When you think about space it’s just way out there," says Susannah Miller.
For most space is pretty far away, but not for Miller.
“Basically, as you go up in the air, the number of molecules thins out," Miller said. "So, it’s just a little box that will be going up there. It will be orbiting for two months.”
Miller is a student at Old Dominion University, and she is one of 100 students working on the satellite project.
"There's a satellite being built at each of the three universities. UVA, Virginia Tech, and ODU, and then Hampton University students are working on a tool that's going to be used to analyze the data that comes back from satellites," according to Mary Sandy.
The three satellites are being released to make a constellation that measures atmospheric density, but ODU junior James Flynn says that’s not all.
“From this data we can make better satellites so that they de-orbit in a cleaner fashion. And they actually de-orbit instead of just staying in space indefinitely," he said.
Every single piece of the satellites will be built by students. Once NASA approves the entire constellation, it will be launched from the International Space Station by the end of the year.