MILWAUKEE (AP) -

Marquette University students have won NASA approval to have a tiny satellite sent into space.

The cube about the size of a coffee mug will take pictures of Earth during its three-month lifespan.

NASA allows a few institutions each year to produce small cube-shaped satellites. The space agency then launches them into low orbits around the Earth. It approved proposals this month from Marquette and 15 other institutions.

Marquette's satellite will take regular and heat-imaging photos. The pictures will duplicate those NASA already has, but Marquette researchers say the point of the project is to have students apply abstract scientific concepts to the real world.

Marquette senior Devin Turner says it's an incredible feeling to work on something that will leave Earth's atmosphere.