Romania launched its first satellite to space today (February 13) from a base in the French Guiana. The nanosatellite, called Goliat (in picture, left), was created by a research consortium led by the Romanian Space Agency, and was launched together with the inaugural flight of the European Space Agency’s Vega rocket (in picture, below).
Romania’s satellite Goliat, designed as a cube with 10 cm margins and weighting 1 kilogram, will capture high – resolution images, measure radiations, and micro-meteor influx. It includes a digital camera, a nuclear radiations detector, and a micro-meteor detector, as well as radio communication systems, a board computer, and a system to determine and control altitude.
The Romanian Space Agency aims to develop and launch nanosatellites for complex missions in observing the Earth. The project includes two stations in Romania – the Magurele station close to Bucharest and the ROSA station in Cluj. The project was coordinated by Marius – Ioan Piso from the Romanian Space Agency. The team which created this first nanosatellite also included teachers and students from the Bucharest University and the Polytechnics University.
The Vega program, started in the early ’90s, aims to provide Europe with a safe, reliable capacity to carry science and Earth observation satellites into orbit. It joins the Ariane 5 and medium Soyuz rockets already launched from Europe’s Spaceport in French Guiana.