A satellite developed not by large corporations, but by a group of Russian enthusiasts with the support of ordinary citizens was orbited recently.
The Mayak satellite was created by the student community of the Moscow Polytechnic University. They wanted to show that not only high-end companies, but also ordinary people can contribute to space exploration. Nearly a half of the sum required for the development was collected due to the crowd funding campaign - about 2.5 million rubles.
Mayak is a microsatellite. It is designed to test the method of aerodynamic braking, used to clean up space from debris. In the assembled state, the satellite is small (about 40 cm in length). But when in space, it unfolds a folding structure in the form of a pyramid with a strong metallic film, reflecting the light of the Sun and the Moon. Due to this, the satellite becomes one of the brightest objects in the sky and can be seen with the naked eye on a clear night.
Mayak was launched into orbit on July 14 on the Soyuz-2.1a rocket carrier.
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