IRELAND’S first satellite is due to be launched in the next few months.
This comes after Tanaiste Leo Varadkar signed a memorandum that will register the satellite with the UN.
The EIRSAT-1 satellite is an educational research satellite designed, developed, built and tested at University College Dublin.
The main task of the satellite launch is to detect gamma-ray bursts and study how to control the movement of satellites in space.
Tanaiste Varadkar briefed the cabinet on the project’s “significant industrial and educational benefits” before signing the memorandum.
Benefits include the demonstration in orbit of technologies developed by Irish companies and the development of a skills and knowledge base to make Ireland more competitive in the global space sector.
A source told The Irish Sun: “Tanaiste has been authorized to sign an exchange of letters with the European Space Agency on behalf of the government.
“This is necessary to secure the launch of Ireland’s first satellite, EIRSAT-1, which was designed, developed, built and tested entirely at University College Dublin.
“Ireland, like other Member States launching satellites under the ESA programme, must register the satellite with the United Nations. The memorandum presented by the Tanaists sets out the mechanism for this.
“The letters will confirm that Ireland recognizes EIRSAT-1 as an Irish mission and that Ireland intends to register EIRSAT-1 on the UN Registry of Objects Launched into Space.
“EIRSAT-1 is expected to be launched by the European Space Agency from its base in French Guiana in the next few months.”
They added: “The EIRSAT-1 team has developed space systems capabilities not previously present in Irish industry or academia and their work will position Ireland to benefit from the global space industry growth that is expected in the coming decades expected and inspire the next generation of students.”
UCD students and staff have been working on the project for five years.
EIRSAT-1 will conduct demonstrations of three original payloads, all developed at UCD, within a 520 km orbit, consisting of a gamma-ray detector, a space materials characterization experiment and a spacecraft control test bed.
The team also developed an antenna module to enable communication with the spacecraft.
The costs associated with the launch will be borne by the European Space Agency.
EIRSAT-1 stands for Educational Irish Research Satellite 1 and the project is being carried out with support from the Education Office of the European Space Agency as part of the educational program Fly your Satellite! Program.
https://www.thesun.ie/tech/9513121/ireland-satellite-launch-ucd-eirsat1-memorandum-leo-varadkar/ Ireland’s first satellite to be launched in MONTHS as Tanaiste signs major agreement