ESTCube-1 Tether Satellite hopes for Spring launch

Artists impression of ESTCube-1 in space - Image credit University of Tartu

Artists impression of ESTCube-1 in space – Image credit University of Tartu

Estonia’s first CubeSat ESTCube-1, amateur radio callsign ES5E/S, is planning to launch from Kourou in the Caribbean in the Spring on an ESA VEGA rocket.

Built by students at the University of Tartu ESTCube-1 the main mission of the satellite is to test electric solar wind sail technology, a novel space propulsion technology that could revolutionalize transportation within the solar system. It will deploy a 10 meter conductive electrodynamic tether and the force interacting with the tether will be measured.

The technology is based on the electrostatic interaction between the electric field generated by the satellite and the high-speed particles being ejected from the Sun.  A spacecraft utilizing this method would first deploy a set of electrically charged wires, which allow to generate an electric field over a large area. This area effectively forms a “sail” that can be pushed by the charged particles by being diverted by it and therefore transferring momentum to the craft.

The team also aim to capture images of Estonia for outreach purposes.

Watch ESTCube-1 Promotional Video

The IARU Amateur Satellite Frequency Coordination Panel have published these frequencies for ESTCube-1
437.250 MHz – CW beacon, callsign ES5E/S
437.505 MHz – 9600 bps AX.25 telemetry, callsign ES5E-11

Electric solar wind sail


Wiki EstCube-1