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Hungary's first satellite orbits the Earth and transmits data

Today's picture-perfect qualification flight of the new Vega rocket was a huge success for ESA but was a truly historic day for Hungary. Our first indigenous satellite, MaSat-1, designed and built at the Budapest University of Technology and Economics, entered orbit today. This event represents the next highlight in a string of successful space activities, such as the spaceflight of Bertalan Farkas, successful cooperation in various programs, like the VEGA and Rosetta missions, or the Pille dosimeter that has served on three generations of space stations. We share the joy of today's successful launch with Poland and Romania who launched their first indigenous satellites on this flight too.


MaSat-1, a single-unit (10x10x10cm) CubeSat was manufactured almost entirely in Hungary, except for some special parts as space-rated solar panels. Beyond the challenges to design the necessary subsystems like communication or power management of the satellite, it also features a true experiment. The semi-active magnetic orientation system is consisted of a permanent magnet an two electromagnets: the orientation of the satellite can be adjusted by tuning the magnets in respect to the magnetic field of the Earth. The team intends to move on and build new, potentially larger and more complex satellites, most likely two- or three-unit CubeSats.

Signals of MaSat-1 were received since both by the main station at the University and by radio-amateurs. The satellite is healthy and responds to commands: transmission power was temporarily increased to 400 mW and the "greeting" message was changed from "MaSat-1" to "Thx to Vega" to salute the new small launcher of ESA. The temperature readings of the first orbit were also downloaded. The primary mission of the satellite is three weeks, but the team expects it to last a good deal longer, up to years even. And if you happen to be a radio-amateur, you can listen to the transmissions and forward them, just follow the instructions here.

The proud team poses with a mockup, after learning that the CubeSats were successfully ejected into space.


And earlier, in front of the main ground station antenna.

We congratulate the MaSat team and hope that their success will help to achieve Hungary's long overdue ESA membership and foster the Hungarian space industry sector!


László Molnár & Team Puli Space

Image sources and cedits:

1.) ESA - Stephane Corvaja, 2012

2.) 4.) Dávid Czifra

3.) Márk Horváth

Last Updated (Monday, 13 February 2012 21:04)

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