Armenia launches its first satellite on a SpaceX rocket

(ORDO NEWS) — The device was launched from Cape Canaveral in the United States, and the Falcon 9 rocket launched it into space. According to Nikol Pashinyan, preparations for this mission were carried out in an atmosphere of secrecy.

The SpaceX rocket launched on May 25, at 22:35 Yerevan time, from Cape Canaveral in the United States. Among the 59 satellites launched into orbit was the first space satellite of Armenia. It was created as a result of cooperation between the Armenian state CJSC “Geocosmos” and the Spanish company Santlantis.

According to the Prime Minister of the Republic Nikol Pashinyan, among the subsequent goals of Armenia in this area are the localization of space technologies and the production of components for space equipment within the country.

Until the end of 2022, a control center for space activities will be created there. At the first stage, he will manage the operation of the satellite and the processing of the images received by it.

The images themselves will be needed for border protection, emergency warning and management, as well as for environmental protection, including climate change monitoring, and construction (including road construction).

Armenia launches its first satellite on a SpaceX rocket 2
The launched satellite is relatively small, but allows you to get images of the Earth in relatively high resolution

Not much is known about the technical features of the satellite. The authorities of the republic collaborated in its creation with the Spanish company Satlantis, which usually deals with small satellites.

Photos visually published in the media indicate that the first Armenian satellite most likely belongs to the iSIM-90 line. It corresponds to the 16U CubeSat format with an estimated mass of the launched unit up to 17.9 kilograms (the satellite instruments themselves weigh noticeably less).

Such satellites are usually specialized in observations of the earth’s surface. The band in which the iSIM-90 sees what it flies over has a width of up to 26 kilometers (with an orbit altitude of 500 kilometers). Their resolution can reach 1.26 meters, which allows you to get quite detailed maps of the surface.

Armenia launches its first satellite on a SpaceX rocket 3
Sputnik Armenia

The launch of Falcon 9, which put the satellite into orbit, was attended by the Minister of High-Tech Industry of the Republic Robert Khachatryan and Ambassador to the United States Lilit Makunts. All decisions in this area were made in secrecy, probably due to the traditionally tense relations between Yerevan and Baku.

“Thus, Armenia enters the era of space activities, and we hope that our rich traditions in this area (space research and production) will be restored,” Nikol Pashinyan commented on the launch.

The Armenian Security Council and the Ministry of High-Tech Industry have already developed a law on space activities, which was approved by the parliament. The goal is to stimulate the development of the space sector in the country. Licensed companies operating in it will be provided with tax incentives.

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