The Dawn of A New Space Age for Mauritius – Launch of the first Mauritian Satellite: MIR-SAT1

This article is part of a series that will be published and updated by the authors accordingly.

First Mauritian Nanosatellite, MIR-SAT1 | Image Credit: Mauritius Research and Innovation Council (MRIC)
May 26, 2021 – The Earth’s colours, from the city lights to the hues of an orbital sunrise, show just how vivid our planet is when viewed from the space station. A night-time shot of Mauritius and Reunion Island in the Indian Ocean | Image Credit: International Space Station

The year 2021 marks a huge step forward in terms of space exploration for the island of Mauritius. In few days, on June 3rd 2021, at 17:29 UTC* (21:29 time in Mauritius GMT+4), the first Mauritian satellite (a CubeSat – MIR-SAT1) will be launched onboard
the SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket (Mission: CRS-22/SpX-22) from the Kennedy Space Center
in Florida.

CRS-22 (SpX-22) mission patch and SpaceX’s flight Launch
Image Credit SpaceX

 

 

 

 

 

 

Launch date, time, and viewing opportunities are subject to change. Launches can be affected by technical and mechanical issues and range operations and weather, either in advance or at the last minute.

The flight is the 22nd mission by SpaceX conducted under a Commercial Resupply Services contract with NASA. The Dragon cargo spacecraft will deliver supplies, science investigations, and an array of small satellites for deployment from the International Space Station (ISS).  These small satellites, CubeSats (also known as ‘Nanosatellites’) are a class of research spacecraft, can be 1U, 2U, 3U, or 6U in size, around 10 cm x 10 cm x 10 cm and typically weigh less than 1.33 kg per U.

The Mauritius Imagery and Radiotelecommunication Satellite 1 (MIR-SAT1) was built by a team of researchers at the Mauritius Research and Innovation Council (MRIC), under the aegis of the Ministry of Information Technology Communication and Innovation. It was also supported by the local Amateur Radio Society in collaboration with experts from AAC-Clyde Space UK.

 

 

 

The United Nations/Japan Cooperation Programme on CubeSat Deployment from the International Space Station (ISS) Japanese Experiment Module (Kibo) “KiboCUBE” | Image Credit: UNOOSA/JAXA Partnership.

In 2018, the United Nations Office for Outer Space Affairs (UNOOSA) and the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) selected the Republic of Mauritius for the third round of the UNOOSA-JAXA KiboCUBE programme. Through this partnership, Mauritius will be able to launch their first Mauritian satellite 1-Unit  Cube Satellite (nanosatellite)  to the International Space Station (ISS) and then deployment in space from the Japanese Experiment Module (Kibo) of the International Space Station.

The main mission and objectives of the MIR-SAT1 are to enable “Technology and knowledge transfer through the design, building, testing and operating satellite in space.” This will help promote small satellite technology in Mauritius and contribute to socio-economic benefits.

Join us for the full launch on: SpaceX’s livestream or NASA’s livestream

The Republic of Mauritius Government’s Official Launch Event will take place in the presence of the Prime Minister, Hon. Pravind Kumar Jugnauth in Mauritius.

Details about the Mauritius Research and Innovation Council (MRIC): http://www.mric.mu/English/Pages/default.aspx

More information about MIR-SAT1 can be found on: https://spacemauritius.com/

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