21.11.2013

"Manolito" the new Argentine nanosatellite is already in orbit

It is the successor of El Captain Beto and was developed in the country. The Manolito was successfully launched from Russia.

"Manolito" the new Argentine nanosatellite is already in orbit

Emiliano Kargieman, the Satellogic CEO and the minister Barañao during the announcement of the Manolito launch.

On Thursday, Argentina put into orbit a new nanosatellite with national technology and partly funded by the Ministry of Science, Technology and Productive Innovation through an agreement with the INVAP. The CubeBug -2, also known as Manolito, was launched at 4:30 am (730 GTM) from a Russian platform and has already orbited around the Earth five times.

Barañao stated that "we are aiming to greatly expand the innovation capacity and the satellite technology generation to place Argentina among the countries competing at international level”.

Manolito is the successor of El Captain Beto, the first open nano satellite platform. It was developed by the Satellogic and more than 80 % of components were manufactured in Argentina, including the solar panels and the onboard computer. It carries a 20 megapixel camera to take photos of the Earth, a GPS developed by the company and a charge so that radio amateurs can locate it and leave messages. The nanosatellite will be monitored from two ground stations located in Bariloche, Rio Negro and Tortuguitas, Buenos Aires.

As announced after The Captain Beto launch, the source code to replicate the design of the satellites can be used by anyone and is available at https://github.com/satellogic/canopus

During the launch announcement, the Minister of Science, Lino Barañao, expressed his satisfaction with the innovative features of this project and its mode of implementation stating that "when the project was submitted we put it under consideration of the president Cristina Fernández de Kirchner, together with the INVAP, and the President said that this was something in what we should engage and invest in the project until reaching the proof of concept to evaluate its feasibility”. Then, the Minister noted that “ in the not too distant future Argentina will be able to have an eigenvector for launching this type of satellites smaller than the traditional ones”. Finally, Barañao stated that "we are aiming to greatly expand the innovation capacity and the satellite technology generation to place Argentina among the countries competing at international level”.

Meanwhile, the Satellogic CEO, Emiliano Kargieman, celebrated the Manolito launch as "a step towards democratization of space technology" and he added that "Manolito, the second satellite of this series and today we are working on the third satellite to be launched in April 2014 to continue moving forward and improving this platform”.  

The nano satellites have multiple scientific applications such as stars and earth observation (climate and atmosphere), technological development test such as sensors, biological research (metabolic reactions, new drugs), testing of new materials such as crystals, and educational functions.

The two nano satellites are part of a technology platform funded in part by the Science portfolio through an investment of $ 10 million together with the INVAP and private investors. It consists of designs, satellite ground and in-flight qualification, generation of local component suppliers and equipment which enable academic or institutional users to manufacture and use of satellites for scientific experimentation, images, communications and technological demonstrations.

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"Manolito" the new Argentine nanosatellite is already in orbit

Emiliano Kargieman, the Satellogic CEO and the minister Barañao during the announcement of the Manolito launch.

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