MIR-SAT1, Mauritius First Satellite to be Launched on 3 June

First Mauritian Nanosatellite, MIR-SAT1 | Image Credit: Mauritius Research and Innovation Council (MRIC)

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).

MIR-SAT1 (Mauritius Imagery and Radio – Satellite 1) 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. Mauritius was the winner of the 3rd round UNOOSA/JAXA KiboCube Programme in 2018. 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.

MRIC Engineers at AAC-ClydeSpace (Clean Lab)

The primary objective of the MIR-SAT1 is to acquire satellite technology through the design process, design review, assembly, integration and testing. In parallel, the MRIC has 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 is being equipped with a ‘FlatSat’ module, a replica of the 1U, enabling engineers to simulate all the required manoeuvres before 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.

Read 2020 in Review – Mauritius Space Program.

This is the second time an African country will launch a satellite in 2021, after Tunisia placed its first satellite, Challenge One, in orbit in March. The satellite will accompany the NASA/SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket, carrying the Dragon cargo resupply mission (CRS-22) to the International Space Station. It will lift off from Launch Complex 39A at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida, at 1:29 p.m. EDT (1729 GMT). The launch will be streamed live here.