First Slovak Spacecraft Launched

Slovakia has celebrated their first successful Space launch, launching a satellite skCUBE at 5.59am CET on 23rd June 2017.

The payload was on top of an Indian rocket PSLV-C38 launched from Satish Dhawan Space Centre, making Slovakia the 78th county to build and launch its own satellite, launching 60 years after the first - Sputnik

Satellite launch is the culmination of several years work of the civic association Slovak organisation for space activities (SOSA), several Slovak universities and technology companies, along with State support. The project could also succeed with the support of the state. The aim is primarily to popularise science and technology, and demonstration and test innovative technologies in space conditions. Part of the satellite is several experiments, including experiments VLF (receiver very long radio waves).

The first time we really enjoyed, but we waited until the final confirmation of our antenna systems, that is really all right. The satellite broadcast signal strength and came first sensor data. Good condition satellites were also confirmed during the next flights. The whole team prevailed enormous joy and relief that we successfully managed to develop and build a satellite that has survived not only challenging conditions to launch rockets into space but also very inhospitable environments in the universe,
— Jakub Kapuš, Project Manager

90 minutes after launch, the communications antenna became active and started to capture signals. The first Amateur/Ham Radio contact was made with Dmitrij Paškov from Moscow, ninety minutes before contact was made with a Slovakian station.

Over the following hours and days, the team focused on receiving, processing and interpretation of data from a spacecraft, taken by their own antenna systems, but also by radio amateurs around the world.

Other tests include measurement of satellite rotation and air traffic control.

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