The first Slovak satellite skCUBE is expected to be sent into orbit in early June, said representatives of the Slovak Organisation for Space Activities (SOSA), which is in charge of the project.
The launch has been repeatedly postponed due to problems with the American Falcon 9 rocket. This time it is planned to take place at India’s Sriharikota spaceport.
“We were offered the Indian PSLV-XL rocket, with C38 being the number of the flight,” said Jakub Kapuš, skCUBE project leader and SOSA vice-chairman, as quoted by the TASR newswire. “We decided to make use of this offer, as SOSA has been working on this project with its partners since 2011 and has been waiting to launch [the satellite] for more than a year.”
skCUBE is a small cube-shaped satellite, 10 centimetres cubed, and weighs around one kilogram, Kapuš explained. This is the first such piece of equipment to be completely designed, constructed and operated from the territory of Slovakia. Its working orbit will be around 500 kilometres above the Earth’s surface.
The satellite will carry a small camera and will pick up ultra-long radio waves coming from the depths of the universe and the upper layers of the atmosphere.
“The satellite will send hundreds of measurements to Earth,” said Kapuš, as quoted by TASR.
If everything goes smoothly, it might remain in the Earth’s orbit for two to four years.
With the support of the Education Ministry, a ground radio station network has been established to collect signals from skCUBE, as well as from other satellites, TASR reported.
SOSA has also produced so-called cosmic incubators, including at the Faculty of Electrical Engineering and Informatics (FEI) of the Bratislava-based Slovak Technical University. They are aimed at education and at passing on the experience of developing space technologies to students of Slovak universities.
“This project is a big contribution to Slovak science, as we will get into space in a short time.” said Peter Ballo of FEI’s Nuclear and Physical Engineering Institute, as quoted by TASR. “Now it’s only about carrying out the scientific experiments. This is a challenge for other groups of people.”
23. May 2017 at 13:29 | Compiled by Spectator staff