By Elizabeth Chao

One of the unmentioned qualifications for joining AlbertaSat is wanting to become an astronaut.

Since childhood, Nick Sorensen has always been fascinated by outer space, and has had a constant drive to be involved with space-related opportunities while growing up. He has been with AlbertaSat for the past two years, working to manage and design all systems for power storage and distribution. The goal of Nick’s team is to make sure they can supply enough power for the Ex-Alta 2 satellite, as well as to integrate all satellite systems together. 

Throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, Nick has had the opportunity to sit down and focus on unfinished work, something that other power team members could also relate to. Recently, he has been working with Brandon Hodge on designing and assembling a thermal vacuum chamber; however, not being able to see and cooperate with others in the usual setting has also had its difficulties, such as miscommunication.

Aside from his technical work, Nick has had the opportunity to give presentations for outreach and is looking forward to being in an actual classroom, although the opportunity has yet to present itself. He is excited that AlbertaSat’s outreach efforts and its participation in the Canadian Cubesat Project has given the team publicity and an influence on the development of a space industry in Alberta. Nick is thrilled that there are local satellite companies here in Edmonton, and hopes that the industry will continue to grow in years to come. Nick is especially excited about SpaceX and NASA collaborations, and hopes to see AlbertaSat alumni being employed by space-related companies in the future. With his motto, “work until something gets done,” he is determined to jump at any opportunity to work in space-related fields.  

Optimism and a positive mentality are key to getting things done and ultimately get the satellite into space. Throughout his journey in AlbertaSat, one of the things that stood out to Nick was the former project manager Callie’s outstanding motivation towards the entire team. Her consistent positive mindset, despite overwhelming challenges, has helped Nick and the rest of the team members in their efforts of getting satellites into space. Furthermore, her positive mentality, which is essential for student projects such as this one, has benefited everyone tremendously. Because of Callie’s positive influence, Nick stresses the importance of maintaining optimism, especially through the time crunch of Ex-Alta 2’s launch being a year from now. 

Nick’s advice to new students is to join a club or student project like AlbertaSat, which are not only great stepping stones to gain valuable experience, but also act as great additions to what is learned through formal education. Nick stresses the importance of devoting yourself to your project, or any project at that matter, as devotion and dedication often lead to incredibly rewarding and satisfying experiences.