The Educational Irish Research Satellite 1, also known as EIRSAT-1, is set to become Ireland’s first-ever satellite to be launched into space. Developed by students from the UCD School of Physics and the UCD College of Engineering, EIRSAT-1 is part of the “Fly Your Satellite” initiative by the European Space Agency (ESA) Academy, which supports university students in building their own satellites.
After six years of development, EIRSAT-1 will soon travel to the Vandenberg Space Force Base in California, where it will be launched into orbit on November 29. Dr. Ronan Wall, the manager of the UCD Centre for Space Research, expressed his excitement about the upcoming launch, describing it as a significant moment for the team.
The satellite will conduct three experiments in Low Earth Orbit, with the data being transmitted back to the command centre in UCD. One experiment involves a gamma ray detector, which can provide insights into gamma ray-bursts. Another experiment focuses on material science and thermal control, ensuring the spacecraft maintains the necessary temperature conditions. The final experiment aims to develop a unique method for pointing and orienting the spacecraft.
EIRSAT-1’s launch marks a milestone for Ireland’s scientific and educational community, as it will contribute to advancements in science, training, and education within the country. The satellite represents the culmination of thousands of hours of dedicated work by the team involved in its development.
With its launch around the corner, EIRSAT-1 paves the way for future endeavors in space exploration and research from Ireland.