Space: Mauritius nano-satellite in orbit

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Morris is just waiting for the first images of its MIR SAT-1 nanomoon. The spacecraft was launched on June 3, and orbits in low Earth orbit. This is the first for a country that wants to have greater means of surveillance and surveillance on its territory.

From our Port Louis Correspondent,

The MIR SAT-1 satellite was launched by Space X in Florida on June 3, and entered orbit 10 days later by the International Space Station. Since then, it has been constantly monitored at the ground station, in the Ebeni ​​Electronic City, by two young Mauritian engineers with British training, Faraz Shmutali and Ziad Srifan.

It is 4:10 pm on Friday when the CubeSat satellite begins its pass over Mauritius. Ziad Surivan is working on adapting the spacecraft to his peers in Clyde Space, Scotland. If the development of the CubeSat was piloted by the Mauritius Research Institute, with the help of the United Nations Office of Space Affairs and the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency, it was manufactured by this British company.

« Conditions before going to the mission one month. After a month, if all settings are correct, we will switch to task mode, which means taking pictures and testing the connection between islands. » Explanation of Ziad Srifan.

The ground station is equipped with five screens of different sizes that analyze and decode the signals picked up by the antennas installed on the roof of the building, which are shown to us by Faraz Shmotli. ” We have three types of antennas. The UHF antenna receives data from the satellite. The VHF antenna is used to send commands to the satellite. We also have a parabolic antenna to receive data from other satellites ».

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The nano satellite is located in a low orbit, 418 kilometers from Earth. Performs 15 turns of the Blue Planet every 24 hours. Smaller than a shoebox, this center of nanotechnology has great functionality. But Faraz Schmottly dreams bigger for his country: ” We aim to send a larger satellite to perform more specific tasks in the future.. »

Mauritius is the first small island nation to acquire a nano-satellite as part of an ambitious project by the Minister for Information, Communications Technology and Innovation, Deepak Balgobin. ” The goal is to first gain experience and move forward. We have sent engineers to England and India for further training. We are currently working at the Mauritius Innovation and Research Council level which is the research entity responsible for this project to create a space department » in reference.

Meanwhile, MIR SAT-I makes four 10-minute passes over Mauritius every 24 hours. Its signals can be picked up by radio amateurs at 436.925 MHz.

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