Membership of space club

[b]On July 22nd, a Belarusian satellite was successfully launched from Baikonur, being sent into orbit and making our country a confident member of the club of world space states[/b]The ‘Soyuz-FG’ rocket with ‘Fregat’ upper stage took 2,764 seconds to cover 520km, taking the 400kg satellite into near Earth orbit. It is due to remain there for at least five years; its chief designer, the Director of Geoinformation Systems enterprise, Sergey Zolotoi, believes it could last longer. The satellite boasts high dynamic characteristics, being manoeuvrable and able to promptly readjust to shoot at the necessary angle with up to 2m resolution. Who will benefit from such Earth monitoring? Primarily specialists in mapmaking and geodesy, as over half of survey works are conducted via space surveillance. Such information is also in demand in the forestry and agricultural industries and by the Ministry of Natural Resources and Environmental Protection and the Emergency Ministry.
On July 22nd, a Belarusian satellite was successfully launched from Baikonur, being sent into orbit and making our country a confident member of the club of world space states
The ‘Soyuz-FG’ rocket with ‘Fregat’ upper stage took 2,764 seconds to cover 520km, taking the 400kg satellite into near Earth orbit. It is due to remain there for at least five years; its chief designer, the Director of Geoinformation Systems enterprise, Sergey Zolotoi, believes it could last longer. The satellite boasts high dynamic characteristics, being manoeuvrable and able to promptly readjust to shoot at the necessary angle with up to 2m resolution.
Who will benefit from such Earth monitoring? Primarily specialists in mapmaking and geodesy, as over half of survey works are conducted via space surveillance. Such information is also in demand in the forestry and agricultural industries and by the Ministry of Natural Resources and Environmental Protection and the Emergency Ministry.
“With the help of the satellite, we’ll be monitoring the development of floods and forest fires,” explains the Emergency Ministry’s Press Secretary, Vitaly Novitsky. “Of course, we won’t object to other types of daily monitoring. Any observations can be useful if they are comprehensive: from the ground, from the air or from space. We’ve always found space surveillance wanting, as the resolution has been inadequate and we haven’t received data promptly enough; now, we’ll be receiving data twice daily.”
As far as agriculture is concerned, software has been prepared to help forecast the harvest of agricultural crops and assess snow storages. Meteorologists were also looking forward to the satellite launch, as it will help them react to nature disasters such as cyclones and other cataclysms in the atmosphere. Previously, they relied on data supplied by the USA, Europe and Japan for a fee. Now, we’ll be able to sell our own shots.
Our country has now truly joined the ‘club of space powers’, although, of course, we made our first steps in contributing to the Soviet space programme and to numerous international projects. Belarus has designed its own instruments to monitor objects in space and on the Earth’s surface and has made many elements of the satellite independently: high accuracy positioning systems, laser devices, optics, space data processing and software systems, heat-reflecting materials and units to test such protection, in addition to computer navigation programmes and much more. Moreover, our outstanding cosmonauts, Piotr Klimuk and Vladimir Kovalenok, have been into space more than once.
The Belarusian satellite’s ‘twin’ is the Russian Kanopus-B, which was also sent into orbit. Equipment for both satellites was produced at Belarusian Peleng JSC.
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