Suomi 100 satellite will be launched into space on 19 November
The satellite will be launched into space with SpaceX’s Falcon 9 rocket in California. The SSO-A ‘SmallSat Express’ flight will take a total of 64 small satellites into space. Inside the rocket’s nose cone there is a special support structure for the satellites to be attached, either directly or in boxes, from which they will be launched into space.
From Otaniemi to California
Aalto University’s Suomi 100 satellite was transported by aeroplane from Otaniemi in Espoo to Delft in the Netherlands in mid-September. The satellite was installed in a clean room into a box called the launch adapter with a few other nanosatellites. Thereafter, at the turn of September and October, the launch adapter was transported to the USA, to Auburn near Seattle. In Auburn, it was attached to a structure to be installed in the nose of the launcher, which was shipped to the Vandenberg air base in California to wait for the launch.
In Vandenberg, the SpaceX company has at its disposal a launching pad and facilities in which the rocket and its payload are prepared for the flight. Some of the larger satellites that will share the ride to space will only be attached in California.
The preparations aim at the launch to take place on Monday 19 November at 20.32 Finnish time, that is, at 10.32 local time in California.
The launcher will take the satellites into an orbit at an altitude of 575 km, which flies almost over the earth's poles. The releasing of Suomi 100 and other nanosatellites into space will take place calmly, so that the satellites would not collide in space. The release will end approximately 4 hours and 40 minutes after the launch. The exact release schedule of the satellites will be announced closer to the launch, and it is possible that contact with the Suomi 100 satellite can only be made several hours after the launch.
With its specially manufactured radio instrument, the Suomi 100 satellite will investigate space weather near the Earth. In addition, the satellite’s camera will record visible space weather phenomena, such as the northern lights, as well as the planet itself and Finland in particular.
Suomi 100 is already Aalto University’s third satellite that will be launched into space and the fourth Finnish satellite in the orbit. In addition, three new satellite projects are already in progress in Otaniemi.
Professor Esa Kallio
tel. +358 50 420 5857