On May 25th Urdaneta, the first SATLANTIS satellite, was launched on a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket into space
The Basque company signs a contract with the Republic of Armenia for Urdaneta-Armsat1 to provide a complete observation system
Equipped with an iSIM-90 camera, a high-resolution binocular telescope, the satellite will provide images for agriculture, environment and civil protection
Following the successful launch milestones from Cape Canaveral Space Force Station (Florida), Armenian Prime Minister Nikol Pashinian announced at a press conference on Thursday 26 May the signing of the contract between SATLANTIS and GEOCOSMOS to develop a long-term New Space strategy.
A little later, at 12.31 a.m. that same Thursday, Urdaneta, the first satellite of the SATLANTIS company, established its first communication with Earth, via UHF, establishing its excellent state of health (camera, batteries, reaction wheels, solar panels, radio, etc.).
This is a new historic milestone. What until Thursday was “the first Basque satellite”, today takes on the dimension of the first operation of a complete supply of an Earth observation system. Until today, Spain was a buyer of foreign satellites, in which its industry participated with a rate of return. “With Urdaneta and the complete upstream-downstream system, we become a global leader in complete very high resolution solutions, and we realise the dream we have been preparing for for 10 years. “In addition, we bring a number of local companies that have collaborated with us in consortium,” says Juan Tomás Hernani, CEO of the company.
As a result, Urdaneta will now have the surname Armsat1, “with the confidence that new brothers will soon follow”, Hernani said.
Robert Khachatryan, Minister of High Technology Industry of the Republic of Armenia, attended the launch on 25 May, accompanied by the Armenian Ambassador to the US and two of the company’s founders, Rafael Guzmán and Juan Tomás Hernani, as well as the new investor in SATLANTIS, the gas company Williams, represented by Angela John. The minister expressed his satisfaction at the fast-track entry into the club of countries with a space sector, also aware that there are countries much larger than Armenia that do not have such optical observation capabilities of less than 2 metres.
The event was also attended by 18 young SATLANTIS engineers, led by Aitor Conde, its chief technology officer, making up one of the largest groups on the launch day.
“Armenia is not just another commercial project. It is replicating the SATLANTIS story in the development of a country’s New Space ecosystem, while boosting the operation from our headquarters in Bilbao,” concludes Hernani.
The first SATLANTIS satellite is now in orbit
Urdaneta-Armsat1 is a 16U CubeSat offering 1.80 m resolution in RGB+NIR with a 13 km swath, and a total mass of 16.4 kg. It is designed to have a nominal lifetime of at least four years in SSO (heliosynchronous) orbit at 530 km altitude.
It is made up of 16 cubes 10 centimetres on a side. It is 20 centimetres wide and 40 centimetres high, and has deployable solar panels.
The heart of the satellite is the iSIM-90 instrument, a small camera capable of providing high-resolution images for agriculture, environment and civil protection.