n Tuesday 3rd January 2023, the SpaceX Falcon-9 launched Open Cosmos’s first satellite of 2023 from Cape Canaveral in Florida, amongst 114 other small satellites
The launch, which took place at 14.56 UTC, was a resounding success. Approximately one hour after launch, we received confirmation of the successful deployment of MENUT from the Exolaunch deployer and a few hours later, satellite operators at our Open Cosmos Control centre received a strong signal from MENUT and started downloading telemetry nominally.
Solving global challenges with a world view
MENUT is the second satellite of Catalonia’s NewSpace Strategy. Promoted by the Government of Catalonia and the Institut d’Estudis Espacials de Catalunya (IEEC) MENUT is a six-unit CubeSat weighing less than 10 kg, with a mission to observe Earth in order to improve spatial planning and help understand the effects of the climate crisis.
MENUT, which is Catalan for ‘small’, will orbit around 538 km from the Earth at a speed of about 8 km/s. The satellite will be able to take images at 5 metres ground sampling distance of any place in the world.
Leading the world’s biggest mutualised constellation
Menut will form part of the OpenConstellation, a global, shared Earth Observation satellite infrastructure built and managed by Open Cosmos which will enable anyone to access satellite data to address challenges around the climate crisis, energy, natural resources and more.
Launching a satellite has, in the past, been prohibitively expensive. The OpenConstellation will allow national and regional governments, as well as businesses and organisations with more conservative budgets, to participate and access insightful, actionable data from space for the first time while keeping high levels of governance and security.
Rafel Jorda, Founder and CEO of Open Cosmos, said of the event:
“This launch was incredibly important, not only for Open Cosmos but also for Catalonia and their NewSpace strategy. It is always a nerve-wracking moment when a satellite launches but we’re happy to say everything ran to plan and we are already receiving telemetry from MENUT. This will be the first of eight planned launches for Open Cosmos in 2023, which is a testament to the hard work and dedication of our engineering teams both in Spain and in the UK”