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LituanicaSAT-1

LituanicaSAT-1 – the first Lithuanian 1U CubeSat satellite which was launched from the Wallops flight facility by Antares rocket, with the International Space Station (ISS) resupply cargo ship Cygnus 2 in January, 2014. It was one of the firsts European satellites launched from the ISS in cooperation with NASA Ames centre and the space logistics company NANORACKS.

The mission started as a non-profit private initiative of the founders of NanoAvionics and Vilnius University. It later evolved into a successful national scale project involving more than 40 committed people and more than 30 partner organisations. LituanicaSAT-1 mission garnered full support from the President of Lithuania Dalia Grybauskaitė. During the mission greetings from the President were broadcast from space: “Greetings to all Lithuanians around the world”.

Mission Achievements and Facts

  • First 10 Lithuanian pictures from space were captured and retrieved from LituanicaSAT-1;
  • Greetings from the President were broadcast over 1000 times;
  • LituanicaSAT-1 received great attention from the community of radio amateurs and was awarded the international designation OSCAR-78 or LO-78 by Radio Amateur Satellite Corporation (AMSAT);
  • LituanicaSAT-1 was covered by NANORACKS customer case study as a success story;
  • FM repeater worked for more than 650 hours during the mission;
  • Satellite orbited Earth 2 358 times and traveled over 100 million kilometers;
  • Over 10 000  telemetry packets were received during the mission;
  • Signal from the satellite was received by correspondents from more than 20 countries;
  • The LituanicaSAT-1 mission was dedicated to the 80 years anniversary of the flight across the Atlantic by Lithuanian-American pilots Steponas Darius and Stasys Girėnas. This was why the satellite bore the name of the original aircraft used during this historic flight – “Lituanica”.

Deployment of the LituanciaSAT-1 (first above) from ISS. (Image credit: NASA)

Project details
Design of the project:
June 2012 – August 2013
Satellite components’ manufacturing and testing:
September 2012 – October 2013
Satellite’s prototype integration and testing:
March 2013 – October 2013
Satellite manufacturing:
March 2013 – October 2013
Satellite transportation to USA:
25 October 2013
Satellite qualification tests at NASA:
November 2013
NASA safety commission review and issue of permission for space launch:
November 2013
Start of commercial service mission of the International Space Station ORB-1 (launcher Antares, freighter Cygnus 2, launch pad 0A Wallop island, Virginia):
9 January 2014
Satellite delivery to ISS:
12 January 2014
Satellite launch from ISS into space, beginning of the mission:
28 February 2014
Satellite mission in space:
28 February 2014 – 28 July 2014
End of the mission:
28 July 2014