Building Phase of Nanosatellite ESTCube-1 Completed (1)

Photo: Reuters/Scanpix
1/8/2013 10:36 AM
Category: Sci-Tech

If all goes well, 2013 could be the year that Estonia conducts its first space mission.

ESTCube-1, a cubical one-liter nanosatellite built by students and their international partners, is now in one piece and is currently being tested for vibration endurance in Tallinn, ERR radio reported. The satellite will then be sent to Tartu, and on January 18 it will be taken to the Netherlands for final testing before it is sent into orbit.

In February, according to plans, ESTCube-1 will arrive at the Guiana Space Center, which is a French-Guiana-based spaceport used by the European Space Agency, and in April the satellite will piggyback with the European Space Agency's launch vehicle Vega.

Though it is equipped with a small camera, ESTCube-1's main function in space will be to conduct experiments with an electric solar wind sail, which scientists believe may allow space travelers to one day move faster and across greater distances.

CORRECTION: The original version of the story contained a typographical error - "one-cubical liter" should have appeared as "cubical one-liter." 


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