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College of the Desert students assemble and launch a satellite with help from NASA

On Monday, several students from College of the Desert presented a project as part of the NASA on Campus Internship program. 

Over the last five weeks, students built and programmed a satellite with help from NASA. They launched it over the Salton Sea to measure the carbon dioxide levels and take other readings. 

"Honestly, it's surreal, like before, saying that I wanted to work at NASA seemed like a very absurd, weird, nonachieving dream. Like I wouldn't ever imagine myself to be part of this type of opportunities," Grecia Paola Siono Guitierrez told Telemundo 15's Marco Revuelta.

Students are now analyzing the data and the class's professor says that they found high levels of CO2 over the Salton Sea.    

"We had to program a lot of sensors, one of them was carbon dioxide, which tells us how the pollution is above the Salton Sea," Guitierrez said.

The students deployed the small satellite near Niland and it spun for a total of three hours.

The findings of showed that the carbon dioxide levels above the Salton Sea are high.

COD officials said it’s one of five colleges in the country that received a special grant to develop their stem courses and engage minority students.

"It was a very interesting experience for me to be honest, I had never done anything like this in my whole life since I came to the United States," said Josue Manuel Garcia Gonzalez.

The challenge has inspired the group of students to continue pursuing their dreams.

"Now thanks to these opportunities I feel a little more confident and if I think it still works out I will be there working for NASA," Guitierrez said.

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