none

AMATEUR RUSSIAN SATELLITE COULD BE THE BRIGHTEST OBJECT IN THE SKY

02-03-2016
by 
in 

If an amateur Russian satellite  that is planned to be launched in mid-2016 goes ahead on its journey, it could possibly become the brightest object in the sky.

Mayak, or "beacon" in English, is designed to orbit opposite of the Sun and reflect its light using its massive sails. According to some reports it could be brighter than the moon.

The satellite does not have any scientific purpose as it won’t be making an observations, the aim of this project is merely to inspire the world to create an ‘artificial star’ that we can look to, with engineers having raised US$22,000 (1.7 million rubles) on Russian crowd-funding site, Boomstarter.

"We are sending a spacecraft into orbit that will be the brightest star in the sky, visible from any point on our planet," project leader Alexander Shaenko, head of the Contemporary Cosmonautics program at Moscow State Mechanical Engineering University, told Sputnik News.

"We want to show that space exploration is something exciting and interesting, but most importantly that today it is accessible to everybody who is interested."

The whole project is run by enthusiasts who want to see the project up and running making it the first Russian amateur satellite to go into plan, if all goes to plan.


The satellite is about the size of a loaf of bread, but it is designed to unfold into a 16 square meter, triangular sail once it gets to 600km above the Earth.

The Boomstarter page states that the sail is made from a thin polymer material, and the engineers are currently working on the aerodynamic braking system that will allow it to move into lower orbit without the help of the engine.

With the help of the Russian Federal Space Agency, Roscosmos, they will be able to launch the satellite on board its Soyuz-2 rocket as early as July this year.

"Attracting young people to the field of cosmonautics is one of our priorities," a Roscosmos spokesperson told Sputnik News. "Roscosmos works seriously with universities and by supporting projects like Mayak we boost the motivation of students to work for Russian space rocket enterprises in the future."

The team still needs to finish all the testing before they are ready for launch, and the engineers also have plans to build a model of Mayak for the Moscow's Museum of Cosmonautics.

There have been some concerned raised because the artificial star could get in the way of stargazing, or scientists who need to filter light in order to study the sky.

At this time it is not clear how big of an issue this will be. 

Related news & editorials

  1. 18.10.2018
    18.10.2018
    by      In
    Amidst global concern about plastic waste in the world’s oceans, it is rather ironic that it is a soft drinks company that is actually doing something about the problem. SodaStream International, which has always taken a different approach to the soft drinks market, is now taking a different... Read More
  2. 16.10.2018
    16.10.2018
    by      In
    The Government has unveiled a $5 million scheme to encourage high-quality graduate engineers to work in Australia’s automotive sector. The Automotive Engineering Graduate Programme aims to increase the level of advanced engineering skills in the sector and is part of the $100 million Advanced... Read More
  3. 15.10.2018
    15.10.2018
    by      In
    Industry Update is delighted to announce that we are expanding our video offerings with a new series of tutorial style videos that perfectly complement our existing library of news style videos.
    In the first series, we are partnering with sensor specialist VEGA to publish eight playlists of videos... Read More
  4. 15.10.2018
    15.10.2018
    by      In
    Kennards Hire is certainly “doing its bit” to help Australia’s drought stricken farmers and their families. The work began with the Kennards branch network throwing itself behind the Buy a Bale initiative, and is now continuing with a key role in the Mega Farm Rescue.
    Kennards Hire team members... Read More