TAU-SAT1, the first nanosatellite created by the Israeli academy


The Israeli nanosatellite developed by Tel Aviv University and launched this Saturday into space orbit from NASA facilities in Virginia (USA) follows its mission to measure cosmic radiation around Earth, this academic center reported today.

TAU-SAT1, the first nanosatellite created by the Israeli academy in an independent project, orbits the planet at a speed of 27,600 kilometers per hour and at an altitude of about 400 kilometers above sea level, and completes a round of the globe every 90 minutes.

It is a tiny object of 10x10x30 centimeters that weighs less than 2.5 kilos. It will be active for several months, and with no engine, its trajectory will lose power over time, due to atmospheric resistance, until it disappears into the atmosphere itself.

It has detectors that collect scientific information to "help design better protection equipment for astronauts and space systems," the university center said.

"There are high-energy particles that move through space and originate from cosmic radiation from the Sun. Our goal is to monitor" this phenomenon and "measure the flow of these particles", because when they "hit astronauts or electronic equipment in space they can cause significant damage," explained Meir Ariel, director of tel Aviv University's Nanosatellite Center.

Scientists will receive TAU-SAT1 data from a satellite station built on the roof of the Engineering Faculty. It consists of several antennas and an automated control system that will obtain the information transmitted four times a day, when the nanosatellite orbits Israel.

The TAU-SAT1 was completed about four months ago, when it was sent to the Japanese space agency JAXA to finalize flight tests, and then moved to the United States.

"We have joined the revolution" of the field of civil space, said Colin Price, one of the academic directors of the project.

According to Price, today "not only giant companies with large budgets and large teams of engineers can build and launch satellites," as advances in small-scale satellites open options for less-funded projects to launch their own machines into space.

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