ESTCube-1 Survives Collision Threat
Estonia's first satellite, ESTCube-1, is reported to be out of danger from a possible collision with space debris that had threatened to end the student satellite mission Friday morning.
News that the satellite was still operational, and had therefore survived what had been considered a "less than 10 percent" chance of being destroyed by passing through a cloud of debris, came via ESTCube-1's Facebook page.
"ALIVE! We got the first signal from ESTCube!," the posting read. "The satellite is in good health, batteries fully loaded."
At 7:40 Estonian time this morning, the trajectory of ESTCube-1 was due to intersect a cloud of space junk that formed four years ago as a consequence of the collision of the Iridium communication satellite and the Russian military communication satellite Strela-2M, ESTCube-1 team leader Mart Noorma said on Thursday.
The satellite's mission control was not able to verify that it had survived until 10:07, when the first signal was to be received as it passed over Estonia.
The nanosatellite, which measures just 10 centimeters on a side, was launched on May 7 and is orbiting the Earth at 7.5 km per second.