The Vega launcher, carrying 10 satellites, including the Estonian ESTCube-2 student satellite, took off towards the orbit from French Guiana at 4:36 a.m. Estonian time on Oct. 9, the regional Tartu Postimees writes.
The launch was initially scheduled for Oct. 7, but was postponed only seconds before the start.
Researchers at the Tartu Observatory of the University of Tartu were up all night in anticipation of the launch and connected to the launch location via video bridge.
The first overflight over Estonia, when the signal from the satellite could have already reached the Tartu Observatory, was around 10 a.m., however, the signal was not received the first time.
Marja-Liisa Plats, head of communications of the observatory, said that ESTCube-2 orbits the Earth 14 times per day, but 8 to 10 of them are over Estonia. At these times, there is a window of time of about seven minutes for scientists to capture the signal.
On the next overflight, EstCube-2 will be a little closer to Earth and this possibility will be greater, she added. If it does not work then either, the satellite’s battery may have run out, for example, and researchers will have to wait for the battery to recharge.
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