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Ranked Buffs win at home, then launch iconic buffalo into space

Big Saturday for CU's Ralphie
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Posted at 4:07 PM, Nov 20, 2016
and last updated 2016-11-20 18:07:02-05

BOULDER, Colo. -- What a big weekend for the University of Colorado, and their mascot Ralphie the buffalo.

First, the 10th ranked Buffs beat #22 Washington State at Folsom Field, in Boulder, on Saturday. Hours later, their iconic buffalo symbol was launched into outer space, aboard the GOES-R satellite.

MORE: GOES-R, Colorado-built weather satellite, to be most advanced ever

The image of Ralphie is proudly displayed on the outside cover of the EXIS space weather instrument, one of the many sensors aboard the GOES-R, which launched successfully from Cape Canaveral, Fla., Saturday night.

CU Boulder’s Laboratory for Atmospheric and Space Physics (LASP) designed and built the EXIS, and was able to put some hometown flare on it. It's not the first time that a buffalo image has launched aboard a CU-built space craft, but it is the first time Ralphie has blasted into orbit on the same day a nationally ranked Buffs football team won at home.

EXIS (Extreme Ultraviolet and X-ray Irradiance Sensors) is one of the space weather sensors on GOES-R, which was also built in Colorado, at Lockheed Martin's Littleton facility. EXIS will measure energy output from the sun that can affect satellite operations, telecommunications, GPS navigation and power grids on Earth. 

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