On November 29, Eirsat-1 is set to launch from California, marking an important milestone for Ireland as it becomes the country’s first satellite. The project emerged from the European Space Agency’s “Fly Your Satellite” program, aimed at providing students with the opportunity to design and launch their own spacecraft.
Eirsat-1, a small cube satellite (cubesat), was developed at University College Dublin (UCD), bringing space systems engineering and expertise to Ireland that was not previously available in the country’s business or university sectors. This development is seen as a significant achievement, highlighting Ireland’s growing presence in the field of space research.
The satellite has completed three tests while in orbit, and it will now be brought back to UCD for data analysis. The scientific information gathered through these tests will be crucial for advancing scientific knowledge, education, and training in Ireland.
The team involved in this project, led by Prof. Lorraine Hanlon, Director of Eirsat-1 and the UCD Centre for Space Research, expressed their excitement and gratitude for the support received from the university, the Irish government, and the local industry. This collaborative effort has made the development and launch of Eirsat-1 possible.
Dr. Ronan Wall, Manager of the Centre for Space Research, highlighted the significance of the satellite’s departure from Irish shores for the last time on its journey to orbit. The team’s dedication and countless hours of preparation have led to this momentous occasion.
Eirsat-1’s launch and operation represent a significant step for Ireland in the field of space exploration. This project not only demonstrates Ireland’s capabilities in space research and engineering but also paves the way for more opportunities in the future.