Ireland's first-ever satellite will be launched into space within weeks.
EIRSAT-1 was designed, built and tested at UCD and is making its way to California where it will be sent into orbit on the 29th of November.
The miniature cube satellite – or cubesat – took six years to develop and will become the first made-in-Ireland satellite to leave the Earth’s atmosphere.
On Newstalk Breakfast this morning, UCD Centre for Space Research Manager Dr Ronan Wall said the satellite will carry three experiments.
“The first one is a gamma ray detector and that can tell you things about gamma-ray bursts,” he said.
“The second one is a material science experiment in which we are able to provide thermal control for a spacecraft – make sure that it stays hot when it needs to and cold when it needs to.
“Then finally, we have a control experiment - it is an experiment developed completely in UCD – to be able to point and orientate your spacecraft in a novel way that hasn’t been used before.”
The development of the satellite at UCD has seen the introduction of space systems engineering and skills that have not previously existed in Irish industry or academia.
Over its six-year development the project has provided training for students in all major aspects of satellite development – a shared education objective by both UCD and the European Space Agency (ESA).
The satellite is now heading to the Vandenberg Space Force Base in California where it will be sent into orbit on 29th November.
Main image shows an artist’s impression of EIRSAT-1. Image: UCD