Lithuania Becomes Second Baltic Space Nation, Latvia Not Far Behind (1)
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.