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Engineers Bid Farewell to ESTCube-1

Estonia's first satellite, ESTCube-1, will today be sent on its way to the European Space Agency's launch site in French Guiana.

At a noon press conference in Tallinn's TV tower, the nanosatellite will be shown off one last time before it sets off to the space center this evening, ETV reported.

The satellite is due to lift off, alongside two others, on a launch vehicle at the beginning of April. It will then travel 680 kilometers from Earth, where it will test solar sail technology developed by Finnish researcher Pekka Janhunen.

Around 100 students and scientists contributed to creation of the roughly one-kilogram satellite, which was nearly six years in the making. The satellite was used as the basis for 40 research projects and three doctoral theses.

"The students have worked really hard to fit the whole important mission into the little cube [...] We are working in the global forefront of engineering,“ project manager Mart Noorma said.

"The project's biggest value to the Estonian state and nation is this new generation of young engineers and scientists who received from here a very practical experience in developing high technology with their own hands, which is applicable not only in space but in the electronics industry as a whole,“ Noorma said.

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