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The Launch of the Irish Satellite

April 19, 2019

 

How does a country start its own space program? Come with us to Ireland to find out, and meet one of the students whose childhood dreams of launching a satellite are about to come true. Lana Salmon is part of a team from University College Dublin building Ireland’s first-ever satellite. We get to step inside the lab and learn what it takes to design, engineer, and launch experiments into space.

 

Want to learn more about EIRSAT? 

 

Check out the EIRSAT team's website
 

Here's an educational booklet from EIRSAT with activities for kids

 

The European Space Agency has a kids' website

 

Learn about the "Fly Your Satellite" program and all the teams involved in the "Great British Bakeoff" of satellites

 

Photos from our visit to "Irish Space Lab"

 

Here's Lána, with her face full of stars in the floor of the University College Dublin Sciences building:

 

 

 Lana holds the model of EIRSAT. At the bottom is the antennae that will pop out once in space. 

 

This experiment on the exterior of the satellite will test paints developed by an Irish space company. 

 

 A 3D printed model of the satellite shows where the experiments and technology goes inside. 

 

Here you can see the clean room (inside the windows) built into the larger lab. 

 

 Lana shows off her hairnet for the clean room. The special coats, shoe covers, wipes, and grounding cables below are in a small antechamber divided by a heavy plastic curtain.  

 Lana inside the clean room. See the clutter outside! And the cleanliness inside!

 

 A better view of the equipment inside the clean room. The desk counter is where the satellite was built!

 

Here's our challenge for the episode: 

 

If you were going to send something into space, what would it be? What would it study? What experiments would be on it?

 

Hear more from our visit when you pledge to our Patreon for just $1 a month! We release bonus interview episodes with every scientist we feature. 

 

Subscribe at patreon.com/tumblepodcast

 

 

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