Lithuania became the second Baltic space nation late on Thursday when two of its satellites were successfully delivered into orbit.
“This is a historic moment for Lithuania - the first Lithuanian satellites LitSat-1 and LituanicaSat-1 were launched into space. I congratulate the young scientists and all of the people of Lithuania. We are now a space country,” President Dalia Grybauskaite told the Lithuanian Tribune today.
The Cygnus spacecraft that carried the satellites in its cargo compartment made a successful takeoff, via Antares rocket, from the US NASA flight center on Wallops Island, off the coast of Virginia. Weighing about 1 kilogram each, the satellites should orbit at an altitude of 400 kilometers for six months.
LitSat-1 was developed at Kaunas University of Technology and LituanicaSat-1 at Vilnius University.
Estonia's own nanosatellite, ESTCube-1, went into orbit last May.
Latvia could complete the treble soon, with its Venta-1 expected to be launched in the near future after having been postponed over four years.