Look up! It’s the UNESCO educational satellite!
A mini-satellite bearing the UNESCO logo is currently orbiting the earth. It was launched from the International Space Station (1SS) on 3 August by Cosmonaut Sergei Volkov in support of the UNESCO space education programme.
The satellite, known variously as ARISSat-1, Radioskaf-B and KEDR or "Cedar", weighs 30 kg, measures 550 x 550 x 400 mm and was developed by amateurs, including secondary-school students in Russia, Malaysia, the United Kingdom and the United States.
It is the prototype test flight of a proposed series of amateur educational satellites being developed by amateur radio organizations in cooperation with RSC-Energia (Russia) and NASA (United States). It commemorates the 50th anniversary of the first manned flight into space by the Russian astronaut Yuri Gagarin, whose call sign was KEDR.
Since the launch, the “UNESCO Satellite” has transmitted images and signals through the ISS on-board amateur radio station which are being received by individuals, schools and universities all over the world on the 145,950 MI-iz (0,5 W) frequency. The satellite is also transmitting pre-recorded voice messages in several languages.
The test flight is the first stage of a programme on the use of space facilities for educational purposes, as well as for international scientific experiments in the field of basic sciences. This programme was proposed by the Russian Federation and adopted at the 35th UNESCO General Conference.
The satellite is expected to last in orbit between three to nine months.
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