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The Irish Government exchanged letters with the European Space Agency (ESA) on Tuesday, marking the next step towards the launch of Ireland's first satellite, the EIRSAT-1 (Irish Educational Research Satellite) into space. .
The EIRSAT-1 satellite is being developed and assembled by a team from the School of Physics at University College Dublin. The Irish satellite project was launched back in 2017. EIRSAT-1 is no larger than a shoe box.
It is expected to be launched into space from the ESA Spaceport in French Guiana between mid-January and mid-February 2022. The launch cost will be fully covered by the European Space Agency.
The exchange of letters between the Irish government and ESA underlines that EIRSAT-1 will become a purely Irish space mission, and thus the country will be able to register it in the Register of Objects Launched into the Open space, which is led by the UN.
EIRSAT-1, which will be at an altitude of 520 kilometers above the Earth's surface for five years, aims to allow humanity to better understand how the universe began. It is planned to carry out three experiments with its participation.
The first experiment involves the detection of gamma-ray bursts that occur during the death of massive stars and are detected near the Earth from galaxies that can be located at a distance of billions of light years.
In addition, EIRSAT-1 is designed to test the heat-resistant paint EMOD, developed by the Irish company Enbio. The experiment will show how the paint withstands space conditions. The third experiment will test a new wave-based position control method developed at University College Dublin on an Irish satellite.
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