On 5th November the Czech nanosatellite VZLUSAT-1 celebrates 500 days on the orbit. During its mission, the satellite has been collecting the data for the earth radiation research and testing performance of the new Czech composite material for space use.
Nanosatellite VZLUSAT-1 was developed by the Czech Aerospace Research Centre (VZLU) in collaboration with other Czech companies and universities. It carries onboard a miniaturized X-ray telescope, and FIPEX instrument for measuring oxygen concentration in the atmosphere. During its mission it also tests a newly developed radiation shield made of composite materials. The satellite is built on a standard CubeSat 2U platform with dimensions 20 x 10 x 10 cm and weighs 2 kg.
One of the main benefits of the project for VZLU is the ability to assemble the whole satellite in the Czech Republic. Vladimir Dániel from VZLU notes:
"The mission helped us to verify a number of procedures we can now benefit from in more advanced projects. 500 days on orbit also means that the satellite has shown above-average lifetime in its category. VZLUSAT-1 managed to perform measurements at the same level as much larger and more expensive satellites, this puts our mission to the world's top class. In addition, tested radiation shield from composite materials made by the Czech company 5M shown very good results."
The satellite orbits at 500 km with the speed of 7610 m/s. It was launched to orbit within the QB50 international mission on June 23, 2017, and was put to full operation on 2 August 2017. VZLUSAT-1 Webpage: http://vzlusat1.cz/en/
VZLUSAT-1 has been built in collaboration with Rigaku Innovative Technologies Europe, HVM PLASMA, ÚTEF ČVUT, 5M, TTS, Innovative Sensor Technology and FEL ZČU.