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Delphini-1 is well underway to the ISS

The Falcon 9 rocket launcher carrying the Dragon freight module rose into a perfect blue sky over Florida on Wednesday 5 December danish time, and our AU satellite was on board

Tension is released: Delphini-1 is on it's way. Photo: SK/AU foto
Tension is released: Delphini-1 is on it's way. Photo: SK/AU foto

Delphini-1, the first Aarhus University satellite is now in orbit around the Earth inside the Dragon freighter. The launch, provided for free by the European Space Agency ESA, ocurred on time at 19:16 Danish Time under a bright blue sky from the Kennedy Space Center, watched eagerly by a group of our students and employees, involved in assembling and testing the satellite.

Meet the Crew! A happy moment shortly before launch. Photo: H. Andersen/ST Kom

Planned for Saturday at noon Dragon will be berthed to the ISS - the International Space Station, and some time within the next few months the busy astronauts will find time to send little Delphini-1 away into it's own independent orbit. At that time it will reawaken, and the real work for our students will begin, testing radio communications and snapping images of the Earth and the starry sky.

Second stage of the Falcon 9 rocket is followed on it's way to orbit. Photo: SK/AU

At the Lakeside Auditorium on Campus doors were opened to all interested parties, and around 100 participated. Assistant professor Rune Hylsberg Jacobsen of the Department of Engineering and assistant professor Christoffer Karoff of the Departments of Geoscience end Physics and Astronomy entertained the guests on the project and the launch itself, following an enthusiastic welcome Dean of Science and Technology Niels chr. Nielsen. Questions were answered by our people in the Auditorium and on site in Florida.

The Office of Space at the Ministry of Resarch and Education has approved the request for launch permission from Aarhus University.

The Aarhus University space programme aims to give students competences and knowledge of space technology; very much sought after competences by a.o. a growing number of Danish space related companies, today counting more than 200.

Next generation of space resarchers were enthralled by the launch. Photo: SK/AU Foto

Delphini-1 has been realised founded in agreements on the Danish participation in ESA and the ISS. The satellite is expected to continue in orbit for up to two years before it will reenter and decay in the atmosphere.