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Germany : German TET-1 small satellite launched.

On 22 July 2012 at 08:41:39 CEST, the first small German satellite in the On-Orbit-Verification (OOV) programme was carried into orbit from the Cosmodrome in Baikonur, Kazakhstan by a Russian Soyuz launch vehicle. TET-1 is a technology testbed with 11 experiments on board that will be operated in space for a year.

Eleven space technologies tested in space for one year

Conditions in space are very different to those on Earth large temperature variations, microgravity and cosmic radiation. Components of satellites, the International Space Station and other systems must have the capacity to withstand these conditions while continuing to function reliably. As part of its OOV programme, the German Aerospace Center (Deutsches Zentrum fE-r Luft- und Raumfahrt; DLR) is testing space technologies under actual space conditions.

Technologies for use in space must be reliable; otherwise, the risk inherent in employing them is too great. Verification of their performance in space is of critical importance, given the extreme environmental conditions prevalent there, stated DLR Executive Board Chairman Johann-Dietrich WE[micro]rner as he described the OOV programme, the core element of which is the TET series of satellites. With the successful flight of the TET-1 satellite, we are in a position to enable the various organisations involved to qualify their payloads directly for use in space, explained WE[micro]rner at the TET-1 launch. In the past, new technologies could only be tested on Earth. Space-related influences are many and varied; for example, high-energy particles can damage the on-board electronics of a satellite, thereby interrupting the transmission of television or mobile phone signals from space.

Bridge between ground-based testing and utilisation in space

TET-1 (TechnologieerprobungstrEnger-1, Technology Testbed-1) weighs 120 kilograms and has a payload capacity of 50 kilograms. The DLR Space Administration appointed the space systems engineering company Kayser-Threde GmbH as Prime Contractor for the development of the satellite. The 11 experiments selected by DLR for this first mission include solar cells, navigation equipment, a camera that can be used to detect forest fires, telecommunications technologies, spacecraft propulsion systems and computer hardware. For a one-year period, TET-1 will operate in low-Earth orbit, at an altitude of 520 kilometres. After that, it will slowly re-enter Earth s atmosphere, where it will burn up.

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Publication:Mena Report
Date:Aug 23, 2013
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