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Launch of Latvia’s first satellite Venta-1 into orbit put off

Staff writer |
The Launch of Latvia’s first satellite Venta-1 into orbit planned this month has been put off, Aigars Krauze, a researcher at Ventspils University College and a coordinator of Venta-1 project, told LETA.

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It was planned that Venta-1 will be put into orbit by PSLV C34 launch vehicle of the Indian Space Research Organization (ISRO) along with 21 satellites from other countries. It would have been the highest number of satellites ever launched by the ISRO in a single mission.

But the plan to launch a record-high number of satellites has increased the safety risks, therefore a decision had been made that Latvia’s Venta-1 and Italy’s Max Valier will not be launched by PSLV C34 which is to take off on June 20. They will be launched during one of the next flights of the launch vehicle.

Krauze said both satellites were developed by students and their launch had been arranged by the same German partners therefore the plan had been to hook the two satellites to each other and to launch them together. The Latvian and Italian satellites would separate only when already in space.

However, the analysis by the Indian partners had suggested that this arrangement would increase the risks of collision, therefore the launch of Venta-1 and Max Valier had been put off.

After lengthy preparations, Ventspils University College and Bremen University of Applied Sciences in late 2015 signed an agreement on launching Latvian nano-satellite Venta-1 into orbit.

Venta-1 will be circling the Earth in an orbit crossing Latvian territory which will allow receiving data from the satellite and send it command signals while the satellite is over Latvia.

Communications with Venta-1 will be maintained from a command center situated at a Ventspils University College building in the north-western Latvian city of Ventspils.

The satellite was developed by Ventspils University College in cooperation with Ventspils High Technology Park and Bremen University of Applied Sciences.

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