Lem satellite poised for lift-off
PR dla Zagranicy
Poland's first scientific satellite is due to be blasted into space on Thursday morning.
Named after the late Polish science fiction author Stanislaw Lem, the satellite will be sent up in the Russian rocket Dnieper, together with several other international satellites, from a military base in the southern Urals, eastern Russia.
Lem is a 'recycled' satellite that had previously carried a nuclear warhead, but its purpose will now be to carry out precise measurements on some of the brightest stars in space.
The take-off is due to take place at 8.10 am, Polish time.
“There shouldn't be any delay to the launch, but in this field, you can never be entirely sure,” said engineer Tomasz Zawistowski, from the Space Research Centre of Poland's Academy of Sciences.
Lem was constructed within the framework of the international BRight Target Explorer Constellation programme (BRITE), and was designed by specialists from the Space Research Centre of Poland's Academy of Sciences (PAN), together with those from Nicolaus Copernicus Astronomical Centre (also PAN).
The Polish team cooperated with staff at the University of Vienna, the Graz University of Technology, the University of Toronto and the University of Montreal.
Lem will be placed in orbit at an altitude of about 800 km.
Another Polish satellite, Hevelius, named after 17th century astronomer Johannes Hevelius, who served as mayor of Gdansk (then a part of the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth) is due for lift-off from China on 29 December.
Between them, the satellites will carry out measurements on 286 stars.
The project received 14.2 million zloty (3.4 million euro) from the Ministry of Science and Education. (nh)