General San Martín, the picosatellite of the Mar del Plata Innova Space, travels today to space aboard a SpaceX rocket
General San Martin, the peak satellite of the Mar del Plata firm Innova, will take off today at noon from Cape Canaveral and reach Earth orbit aboard a Falcon 9 rocket from SpaceX, the firm of Elon Musk. The company was born as a result of a school initiative promoted by Alexander lamb, an electronics teacher who in 2019 proposed to his students from the Technical School N ° 5 of Mar del Plata to create a picosatellite.
The take off of first of the 100 picosatellites that Innova Space hopes to send into space In the next 3 years, to form the constellation “Libertadores de América”, it will be able to be seen live on YouTube.
If the launch is successful, the project will put the MDQubeSAT1, a satellite of very small dimensions, similar in concept to those of another firm born in Argentina, Satellogic, which already has 17 nanosatellites in orbit and is valued at about $ 850 million.
Innova Space and Satellogic are not the only ones: it is also Tlon Space, which has the peculiarity that it also develops its own rockets to reach space (it hopes to achieve this this year), while both Innova Space and Satellogic use the services of SpaceX.
The MDQubeSAT1 it is an experimental satellite; and it is called a picosatellite because of its dimensions (10 x 5 x 5 cm) and weight (less than 1 kg). For reference, Satellogic’s nanosatellites, which are already considered small, measure 80 x 60 cm and can weigh up to 10 kg. The Saocom 1B, which arrived in space in 2020, weighs three tons and is the size of a small car.
The MDQubeSAT1 is smaller, but also much cheaper. And for now it’s experimental: the goal is give internet access in areas without coverage, especially for agricultural applications. The project was funded in part by the Ministry of Productive Development and Neutron, a technology-based startup accelerator.
In 2019, Cordero closed his personal electronics startup to dedicate himself fully to education. “I knew from my previous experience that the Mar del Plata ecosystem was deficient in qualified labor, and I saw that the students did not want to study electronics because they thought they were going to end up fixing televisions,” he explains. “I started to think about what kind of project could be done with the capacity that the boys had and that could be applied in a public school, and I proposed to make a satellite. I didn’t know much about the subject, but I realized it was possible, “Cordero told LA NACION in this interview.