Ireland’s first satellite has been launched into space from California.
The event, 66 years after the Soviet Union sent a satellite into orbit, is a major milestone in Ireland’s relationship with space.
The Educational Irish Research Satellite-1 (Eirsat-1) was designed by a team at University College, Dublin and cost €1.5 million to make.
The satellite is tiny - only the size of a brick - but it is highly capable and will allow UCD scientists to conduct experiments on gamma ray radiation, temperature regulation in space and satellite orientation.
— SpaceX (@SpaceX) December 1, 2023
“For so many of the young students, they will be proud to see a little piece of Ireland, a little piece of UCD in the night sky. It will be amazing,” UCD president Prof Orla Feely told the Irish Times earlier this week.
“The technical challenge of packing everything into that little space is amazing. Space is the gateway for so many students in science and engineering.”
The launch was carried out from Vandenberg Air Force Base by SpaceX - a company owned by Elon Musk.
Main image: EIRSAT-1 satellite launch.