CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. (WVIR) - Aerospace and engineering students at the University of Virginia are preparing to have their satellites launched by NASA.

Students have been working on building these satellites for three years. It gives them a chance to have their work collect real data for the future.

The 10x10 centimeter cubes will be measuring orbital decay and how orbits change during their lifetime to get a better understanding. Satellites will blast off from the International Space Station on Wednesday and astronauts will release them into space.

“It has been absolutely crazy, it’s not how I thought I’d get to end my college experience,” said student Erin Puckette. “It’s not the way most people get to end their college experience so I’m just over the moon about it.”

The satellites will be in space for about a year. During that time, students will gather and analyze data from a ground station by radio.

 “I’m just so excited to see something that I’ve got to work on and I had my hands physically on get launched into space on a rocket,” Puckette said.

The project is a collaboration with students from Hampton University, Old Dominion University, and Virginia Tech.

On Tuesday afternoon, the students will head to the eastern shore to prepare for the Wednesday afternoon launch. To watch the launch, click here.