November 11, 2023 – The first Croatian CroCube satellite was presented at ZICER at the Zagreb Fair. It should be launched from California into orbit on Elon Musk’s Falcon 9 rocket in February.
As HRT reports, CroCube is a nanosatellite in the form of a red-white Croatian checkerboard cube. It weighs about 1.1 kilograms and measures 10x10x10 centimeters.
The first Croatian satellite will have two cameras and two radio transmitters, and will photograph the Earth’s surface from a height of 550 km. Croatia will be able to take photos 3 times a day for approximately 12 minutes.
During the mission, the condition and movement of the satellite will be monitored on the official website. It will also have an integrated micro SD card with the names and surnames of donors, photos of interested citizens and a special policy with the largest sponsors engraved on it.
The CroCube will eventually be attracted by Earth’s gravity and will burn up completely in the atmosphere without debris.
Mission leader Daniela Jović said that this is a historic moment for Croatia and its future in space.
“CroCube is little more than a satellite, and when we look at it, we can’t help but feel pride and excitement”, she said, adding that CroCube represents a huge step forward in the field of space technology.
“This mission was launched outside of some traditional space agencies. It is the result of the commitment and cooperation of local experts, partners from Croatia and the world. It is important to emphasize that CroCube represents a huge step forward for Croatia in the field of space technology. Its compilation and registration, as well as preparations for the launch, show that here in Croatia we have the technical readiness to participate in high-tech space projects”, she said.
She added that this mission has a wider significance.
“It is the first Croatian cube in space, but also a cube that goes into space, which we send through friendship and unity with partners from the European Union. CroCube connects us with international partners such as Slovakia, the Czech Republic, and beyond,” said Jović.
“CroCube is also a new incentive for Croatia’s further steps towards membership in the European Space Agency”, she emphasized.
Jović pointed out that CroCube opens doors for the future of Croatia.
“This is the first step towards recognizing existing capacities and creating assumptions for the development of innovations by local companies in the space sector. Over the past year and a half, our 30-member team has found approximately six local companies ready to take on the challenges of the space industry. We believe that our example of the CroCube launch will motivate even more companies and experts to dare to dream and realize their dreams about space. The first Croatian cube is proof that space can be reached from Croatia”, she concluded.
After the presentation of the CroCube satellite, it is going to the Czech Republic for attack tests that will simulate the conditions during the launch.
After that, the launch into orbit is planned for February 2024 from California on the “Transporter-10” flight by the Falcon 9 rocket of Elon Musk’s SpaceX.
Experts from various fields and companies worked on the project, while the cube itself was assembled in a clean room of the physics department of the Faculty of Science and Mathematics of the University of Zagreb.
The Croatian company Pulsar Labs also participated in the project. It created the first Croatian CubeSat module, AstroTron 1000, which is part of CroCube.
The executive director of Pulsar Labs, Ante Medic, said that the launch of CroCube is also an opportunity for the development of the space industry in Croatia, pointing out that it is the industry with the highest added value.
Croatian astronomer Ante Radonić said that the first Croatian satellite is an opportunity to popularize science and technology among young people, which is particularly important for the development of the STEM field.
All those who are interested in space research also become interested in other branches, he pointed out.
HAKOM provided the frequency for communication with Earth, and the director of that agency, Milan Gosta, said that the CroCube project is a nice model of cooperation between regulators and institutions with the private sector.
“This is extremely important for Croatia. It is a significant technological breakthrough for the country because it opens a whole new chapter for space research and innovation in other areas”, Gosta pointed out.
The Director of the Directorate for Science and Technology at the Ministry of Science, Hrvoje Meštrić, said that the launch of CroCube is also a great opportunity for the Croatian economy, while the Head of the Information System and Technical Affairs of the City of Zagreb, Dražen Lučanin, said that Croatia will launch an impressive thing in space with CroCube.