Belarusian Satellite Successfully Reaches Orbit
The second attempt of Belarus to join the club of space exploring states became the successful one.
A Belarusian remote sensing satellite has reached its intended orbit satellite flight control center reported.
The working orbit of the satellite is 500–520km. The Belarusian space vehicle was launched into orbit from the space launch facility Baikonur, Kazakhstan at 09:41 Minsk time on 22 July.
The National Academy of Sciences of Belarus reports that all the subsystems of the satellite were nominal, the solar-cell arrays had been unfolded, and the control center had received telemetry data.
The Belarusian satellite will be able to provide complete imagery of the country’s territory. It weighs about 400kg and boasts panchromatic range resolution of about 2m.
Satellite is highly maneuverable and can promptly adjust its orbit to enable a different imaging angle. The core equipment has been made by the Belarusian company Peleng. The rest has been produced in Russia and the UK.
Space imagery is primarily intended for cartography and geodesy specialists. More than half of the work required to update cartographic data uses space imagery. Satellite photos are also in demand in the forestry industry, the agriculture, the Natural Resources and Environmental Protection Ministry, and the Energy Ministry. In particular, software solutions have been prepared to assess snow reserves and forecast yield of agricultural crops.
Today, Belarusian government agencies use data of American, European, and Japanese satellites. The cost of Belarusian satellite imagery is expected to be lower, making it more affordable for users.
The satellite has already transmitted data to the Minsk-based flight control center.
The first attempt of Belarus to launch its own satellite and join the club of space exploring state turned out to be unsuccessful as carrier rocket Dnepr exploded on July 26, 2006.