SpaceX will launch Ireland’s 1st-ever satellite this month

SpaceX will launch Ireland's 1st-ever satellite this month

SpaceX will launch Ireland’s 1st-ever satellite this month

Elon Musk’s company SpaceX will launch Ireland’s 1st-ever satellite this month. Ireland is about to witness the launch of its very first satellite into orbit.

Students from University College Dublin built the Educational Irish Research Satellite 1, or EIRSAT-1. It is a part of the Fly Your Satellite (FYS) program of the European Space Agency (ESA) Academy.

The gamma-ray astronomy Cubesat project of Fly Your Satellite began in 2017. It will now launch from Vandenberg Air Force Base in California on a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket at the end of November.

The two-unit CubeSat carries three science payloads. The Gamma-ray Module (GMOD) is the primary payload, a detector that will analyze intense gamma-ray bursts.

The other two payloads will evaluate the performance of new protective oxide thermal coatings for satellites. It will test Wave Based Control, an alternative approach for regulating spacecraft orientation.

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Why Fly Your Satellite Program is exciting for Ireland?

According to Joost Vanreusel, head of the ESA Academy, University College Dublin has enormous expertise in the domains of space science and astrophysics. And with EIRSAT-1 they overcame the challenges of a very complex engineering project.

Joost added that the educational program would combine the university’s scientific competence with ESA’s experience and expertise in the construction and testing of tiny spacecraft. That is why it was such an appealing topic for the Fly Your Satellite.

SpaceX will launch Ireland’s 1st-ever satellite this month

The FYS project has allowed students to collaborate with ESA specialists during design and development. It will also support a space mission’s whole life cycle. ESA also collaborated closely with Irish authorities to address the special regulatory challenges that Ireland launching its first satellite presents.

This project helped Ireland in developing its first spacecraft operations procedures. University College Dublin now possesses space infrastructure in the form of a cleanroom and a mission control center.

EIRSAT-1 planned to launch on an Arianespace Vega C rocket earlier. However, it changed to the much-delayed Ariane 6. It will now launch in late November as a rideshare payload on a Falcon 9 rocket.

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