By Casia McLeod
Taryn Haluza-DeLay is a 3rd year engineering physics student here at the U of A. In AlbertaSat, Taryn is working in systems engineering but focusing mainly on the payload team. Taryn’s work in AlbertaSat first started before she started university. She got a summer job at the U of A, working in the physics lab with Dr. Dave Milling. Through the job she got to help build things like the sensor for the satellite, a rig for testing the sensor, and even work with circuit boards. She then decided AlbertaSat would be the perfect opportunity to continue learning new things and a chance to continue putting her summer work skills to good use. She had always had an interest in space and this was a great way to get involved. Taryn started out on the mechanical team, then went on to systems engineering and has now worked her way into the payload team where she holds an important role. Taryn has even had the chance to help out with ground station work and balloon missions. Taryn finds pride in being able to say that when she was only 18 years old, she had a hand in physically building something that is now is space. She says the secret to getting far in the group is to just keep showing up and when someone asks if you have time for a task you always says yes and then work hard to ensure it gets completed.
Outside of AlbertaSat, Taryn has been to national level competitions for two different sports: trampoline and ultimate frisbee. Her ultimate frisbee team placed 3rd in nationals therefore they got to continue on to the Pan Am championships. Taryn can do flips as she used to be in gymnastics, her best move is a double flip with one half twist and although it was not completely intentional, she’s even done a triple flip on the trampoline. Taryn’s favorite thing to do in the summer is to go rock climbing, and mountaineering, even when it forces her to get up at 3 am. Her favorite spot for rock climbing is usually around Canmore.
After Taryn completes her engineering physics degree she hopes to someday become an astronaut. She has even considers eventually going for her masters. Her favorite part of AlbertaSat is “how it’s a more practical application of the stuff we learn, it’s an opportunity to see what engineering really is. Rather than just copying down formulas, we get hands on experience”. Being involved with different things and seeing differents aspects of what people do has allowed Taryn to get a really broad sense of what it takes to be successful with AlbertaSat. It’s also allowed her to see how much teamwork it takes for the project to evolve.
Taryn would rather launch 1000 1U cubesats because “with that you could make a big constellation that you could collect a lot of cool data from”. As the project of Ex-Alta 2 continues to evolve, Taryn is super excited to see a lot more of satellite being open source and built in house. This will drive down the cost and make things more accessible to everyone. Her favorite things about Ex-Alta 1 is the little tweaks that the team had to make to get things completed. She enjoys hearing the stories of the mishaps. “It’s funny how we have this big fancy space mission and it’s expected that we have every little thing in place, but the reality of things is that it doesn’t always go as smoothly as expected”.