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Second anniversary of the launch of the first two Slovenian satellites

3 September 2020 would go down in Slovenian history as the day Slovenia joined the list of countries that have their own satellites in the Earth’s orbit. At 03.51 (GMT + 2), the first two Slovenian satellites – Trisat and Nemo HD – flew into space aboard a Vega VV16 rocket from French Guiana.

The successful launch of the Nemo HD microsatellite and the Trisat nanosatellite was a historic achievement in the development of the Slovenian high-tech industry. The development of the satellites and their monitoring, as well as the monitoring of the data they send back from space, constitute an invaluable source of information and experience for Slovenian scientists and space engineers for further technology development and space exploration. The two satellites represent a new technological breakthrough for Slovenian companies working together with the academic community, which serves both as good experience and an example for other Slovenian partners.

The celebration event of the NEMO HD satellite commemorating the second anniversary of the launch of Slovenian satellites.

The celebration event of the NEMO HD satellite commemorating the second anniversary of the launch of Slovenian satellites. | Author MGRT

The Nemo HD satellite, which weighs 65 kilograms, is expected to orbit the Earth for five years, with the mission of providing a technological demonstration of the combination of interactive Earth observation with two cameras. Nemo HD is currently the only European satellite able to record video of the Earth’s terrain. With its agility, resolution and multi-purpose sensors, it perfectly complements the EU Copernicus Earth observation programme, enabling the development of advanced microsatellite methods for river basin scanning and maritime traffic observation with video sensors, which has also been recognised by the European Commission and the European Space Agency.

The Trisat satellite, which weighs less than four kilograms, is expected to orbit the Earth for six years. Again, this is primarily a technological demonstration, as innovative minimised embedded hardware and software have been developed under the project. Once validated in space, such hardware and software have become of interest for commercial space projects and an excellent basis for the further development of equipment for launch into higher orbits, which took place this year with the launch of the Trisat R satellite. The Trisat satellite is the world’s first nanosatellite using comprehensive fault tolerance and mitigation techniques, as expected in advanced high-end systems.

Minister Matjaž Han commented on the occasion of the second anniversary of the launch of Slovenian satellites: "In recent years, the Slovenian space sector has been gaining a strong global reputation and visibility – our companies are already working with major international space players. I see space as an important lever for faster economic development, increased productivity, the development and transfer of new technologies, digitalisation, and the green transition, and I am extremely proud of the performance of our space sector. Our ministry’s role is to support the further development of the sector, to raise its profile at home and abroad, and to open up new markets, and we will continue to pursue these objectives in the future."

To mark the second anniversary of the launch of the Slovenian satellites, the Nemo HD launch celebration event was held in Ljubljana, organised by the Slovenian Centre of Excellence for Space Sciences and Technologies SPACE-SI and attended by Minister of Economic Development and Technology Matjaž Han and the representative of the space sector at the Ministry of Economic Development and Technology, Tanja Permozer.