• New frontiers

    New frontiers

    The first satellite built and designed by Mauritius has been launched into space.

    The Mauritius Imagery and Radio-telecommunication Satellite 1 (MIR-SAT1), built by a team of researchers at the Mauritius Research and Innovation Council, was launched from the Kennedy Space Centre in Florida, aboard the SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket.

    The project is a result of Mauritius winning the third round of the KiboCUBE programme in 2018. KiboCUBE is a collaboration between the UN Office for Outer Space Affairs and the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA), offering educational and research institutions in developing countries an opportunity to develop a cube satellite and to deploy it from JAXA’s Kibo module on the International Space Station.

    The primary objective of the MIR-SAT1 is to acquire satellite technology through the design process, design review, assembly, integration and testing. The satellite will be controlled via a ground station set up in Ebene, south of the capital Port Louis.

    A replica of the cube satellite deployed at the ground station will allow operators to simulate commands before the instructions are relayed to the CubeSat, and is a tool for Mauritian engineers to design similar satellites. The ground station will also receive data from other satellites.

    15 June 2021
    Image: Mauritius Research and Innovation Council