WALLOPS ISLAND — Three small satellites that were developed at four public universities in Virginia will be lifting off into space next month.

Old Dominion University in Norfolk said in a press release that the satellites will be aboard Northrop Grumman’s Antares launch to the International Space Station. Liftoff is scheduled for April 17 from NASA’s Wallops Flight Facility on Virginia’s Eastern Shore.

Astronauts aboard the station will then put the devices in orbit. The satellites will collect measurements of the Earth’s atmosphere to help accurately predict orbits for small satellites. The measurements also will provide a better understanding of how space weather affects the devices.

In addition to Old Dominion, the schools that are involved are the University of Virginia, Hampton University and Virginia Tech. They’re part of what’s called the Virginia Cubesat Constellation mission.

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