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Mauritian satellite MIR-SAT1 to launch on June 3

For the first time in its history, Mauritius will embark on initiatives geared towards exploiting space/satellite technology for its socio-economic benefits.

Mauritius’ first satellite, MIR-SAT1, is scheduled to be launched on Thursday, 3 June, onboard a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket launching the CRS2 SpX-22 mission to the International Space Station at 5:29 PM (UTC).

The satellite was designed by a team of Mauritian Engineers and an experienced Radio Amateur from the Mauritius Amateur Radio Society in collaboration with experts from AAC-Clyde Space UK.

Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) awarded the nation the opportunity to build and deploy a 1U Cube Satellite through the International Space Station (ISS). In February, MIR-SAT1 was handed over to JAXA to be deployed from the Japanese Experiment Module (Kibo) “KiboCUBE” on the ISS.

NanoSatellite MIR-SAT1 is a Mauritian project consisting of the design, assembly, testing, deployment and operating of a 1U CubeSat on orbit. In parallel, MRIC will set up a ground station located at its premises in Ebene, which will serve to control and operate the MIR-SAT1. This ground station will also allow the receipt of data and telemetry from other satellites. The ground station will be equipped with a ‘FlatSat’ module which is a replica of the 1U, which will enable engineers to simulate all the required manoeuvres prior to sending the command to the CubeSat. The FlatSat Module is a key tool for the Mauritian Engineers to design future CubeSats after the MIR-SAT1.

MIR-SAT1 is expected to have ground contact with Mauritius 4 to 5 times per day depending on the season and its expected lifetime is about 2 -3 years.

Mauritius intends to use its first CubeSat platform to acquire knowledge on satellite technology and how to efficiently collect and process land and ocean data coming from space.