Russia's Mayak satellite will be a bright shooting star in night sky
Russia's State Space Corporation Roscosmos successfully launched record-breaking satellites last week from the Baikonur Spaceport and delivered them into various orbits. The record-breaking satellites that were launched on July 14 included an Earth observation Kanopus-V-IK satellite, the main payload, and 72 smallsats.
One of the 72 satellites included Mayak and all of these were sent into space aboard a Russian Soyuz rocket. Mayak, the meaning of which in English is beacon, has been developed by Moscow Polytechnic University (MAMU). The satellite, a standard cubesat, is roughly the size of a loaf of bread.
The satellite could become the third brightest object in the sky only after the Sun and the Moon, thanks to the Mayak 3U-CubeSat that will deploy a large tetrahedron-shaped solar reflector.
Mayake, created by young scientists, is the first crowdfunding spacecraft in the history of Russia. The team has released a video that details the satellite, its mission and the purpose of its creation.
In order to launch their own small satellite, the team managed to raise more than $30,000 on Russian crowd funding website Boomstarter.
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The project aims at encouraging the younger generation to explore the space, and inspire them with their own example that there is nothing impossible, according to the team.
The satellite will orbit the Earth, about 370 miles (600 km) high, giant mylar reflector with a surface area of 170 square feet.
Mayak can be seen as the brightest shooting star once unfurled at night in clear weather. The satellite could be visible in bright twilight and even during daytime passes as well, the team said.
A tracking app called 'CosmoMayak' has been created and can be used by donaors and all clients of RocketBank to track Mayak's position in real time.