First Slovak satellite to be launched into space in May

Source:Xinhua Published: 2016-1-8 0:07:47

The first Slovak satellite named skCUBE will be carried into space by the Falcon 9 launch vehicle of American space transport services company SpaceX from Vandenberg spaceport in California in May.

"More than four years ago we started to dream a very brave dream about how Slovakia could become a part of the prestigious club of countries that have sent their own satellites into Earth's orbit. Today we are completing a great milestone," announced Slovak Organisation for Space Activities chairman Jakub Kapus on Thursday.

Kapus views the launch into space as just the "icing on the cake," as its development and construction has fulfilled many aims that the project's representatives had set.

"In first place we want to show that there's potential in Slovakia to carry out such projects, as space projects don't have to be performed by NASA alone," added Kapus.

The skCUBE satellite is in the shape of a cube. It measures 10x10x10 centimeters and weighs about 1 kilogram. Its operational orbit will be 450-720 km above the Earth. It will orbit the Earth approximately every 90 minutes at a speed of 28,000 km per hour.

"Such satellites are a great tool for us to acquire experience and know-how. It's a good platform for small experiments," said Kapus.

The skCUBE consists of an onboard computer, an electric supply system and a communications system. It also features a sensory system, an orientation control system and a small camera.

The main experiment will concern the reception of very long radio waves coming from deep space and from the upper layers of the atmosphere. The project was carried out by Zilina University and Kosice Technical University.

Posted in: Air & Space

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