Two microsatellites, UPSat and DUTHSat, constructed in Greece will be launched into space on Tuesday, at 18:11 Athens time – along with 26 other similar microsatellites – from the Kennedy Space Center at Cape Canaveral in Florida, USA.
The microsatellites will be transferred onto a rocket-carrier «Atlas V», destined for the International Space Station (ISS).
UPSat is the first microsatellite based on open-source software fully constructed in Greece, the product of the University of Patras and the Libre Space Foundation under the QB50 programme.
The UPSat mission, aims to develop an open source hardware and software 2U cubesat, minimizing the use of commercial of the shelf components to minimum, and providing hardware and software designs under the provisions of the CERN-OHLv2 and GNU-GPLv3 licenses respectfully. The vast majority of its components are designed from scratch in an open source software and hardware way.
The QB50 is part of the European Research Project FP7 Space, coordinated by the Von Karman Institute.
The other satellite DUTHSat was constructed at the University of Thrace.
The Laboratory of Electromagnetic Theory of the Democritus University of Thrace / Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering has been selected to join the QB50 European initiative for the launch of a swarm of nano-satellites to investigate the upper atmosphere.
The satellites will be launched to the International Space Station (ISS) in late March 2017, targeting to be launched from the ISS into orbit by April-May, 2017. Among them is DUTHSat-GR01, a satellite developed by engineers, postdocs, graduate and undergraduate students of the Democritus University of Thrace (DUTH).
The aim of the multi-satellite mission is to investigate with multi-point measurements the transition region between the atmosphere and space. The nano-satellites all follow the CubeSat standard, where a CubeSat is a modular satellite of standardized dimensions. This provides an excellent opportunity for the launch of a Greek miniaturized satellite that is entirely built by University engineers and students.
The QB50 program provides the coordination of the measurements as well as part of the science payload whereas the development of each CubeSat and the ground station for communications and operations are built by each host institution.
The development of DUTHSat has been supported by the ARISTEIA program of the General Secretariat for Research and Technology, whereas the launch of DUTHSat has been supported by Raycap, S.A., a Greek company in Drama.
The original launch dates have been updated.
NASA launch: 18. April 2017 – Arrival at International Space Station ISS 22. April 2017
Launch time: 06:11 pm – Greek time
You can watch the satellite’s launch via NASA’s YouTube channel www.youtube.com/NASAtelevision
18. April 2017 Live coverage will start at 05:00 pm , end 07:00 pm Athens time.
22.April 2017 Live coverage 02:30-04:30 pm Athens time