The first Slovak satellite was launched into Earth's orbit on Friday. After ten years since the first plans for skCUBE, it is one of 31 satellites carried by an Indian rocket.
The unique project has been prepared by the Slovak Organisation for Space Activities in co-operation with several Slovak universities and technological companies. Their main goal is to raise the profile of the science and engineering among the young people and to demonstrate new technologies in the space sector. A part of the project is also a scientific experiment and several international collaborations. The Slovak Organisation for Space Activities chair Michaela Musilova: "We'll be testing it for the next week or two. In two or three weeks we will start receiving more complex data from the satellite. And if this goes well, let's say in a month's time, that's when we start testing the camera. We also want to send something from Slovakia to skCUBE and back, e.g. images of important historical figures like Štefánik."
As the Slovak Organisation for Space Activities chair Michaela Musilova informed thanks to the skCUBE, Slovak experts managed to develop several innovative technologies that proved to be attractive in abroad.
The Slovak satellite features a very long-wave receiver to measure various phenomena in the magnetosphere, test the effects of radiation on individual technology components and carry out experiments in radio communication. Last but not least, the satellite should also take images of the planet. Data from skCUBE will be freely available.
The Slovak Organisation for Space Activities was established in 2009. Apart from the skCUBE satellite project it also runs the so called "space incubators" in order to educate university students and pass on the experience with the developing space technologies.