In 2019, the International Astronautical Federation (IAF) in collaboration with GK Launch Services announced a competition for a free launch of 1U CubeSat on the First Commercial Mission of GK Launch Services during the Global Conference on Space for Emerging Countries which held in Marrakech, Morocco.
Glavkosmos (GK) Launch Services will send the SIMBA satellite, designed at Sapienza University of Rome, into orbit for free, GK Director of Marketing Communications Mila Savelyeva announced at the 70th International Astronautical Congress in Washington DC.
The SIMBA satellite will be launched into orbit together with Tunisia’s first satellite built by TELNET on Soyuz-2 rocket (the new generation of Soyuz launchers features high reliability, multi-functionality, and eco-friendliness) scheduled for October-November 2020 from Baikonur Cosmodrome, Kazakhstan.
The SIMBA satellite project was selected as the winner of the competition which other institutions from across the world also participated. The satellite designed by students from the Sapienza University of Rome will track wild animals around the Kenyan National Parks.
The SIMBA satellite project team include students from Sapienza University of Rome, University of Tel Aviv (Israel) and University of Nairobi (Kenya). SIMBA, an acronym for System for Improving Monitoring of the Behavior of Wild Animals will track the behaviour of animals of Kenya National Park in their natural habitat. For this purpose, special sensors are to be placed on certain animals of various species and sizes (from birds to large mammals), and the CubeSat will relay information about their migration.