Galicia’s Space Adventure

Equipo de Lume-1.

It has taken over 10 years since the adventure of Alén Space began at the heart of the Strategic Aerospace Association of the University of Vigo. At that time, technology was beginning to come to terms with the New Space, a new frontier of space exploration: with small satellites, it was also possible to travel off planet. So, the costs of putting these devices into orbit were greatly cut down almost in half: it was no longer just an exclusive luxury of the large international agencies.

In Galicia, a team of engineers was set up to be at the forefront of this great window of opportunities. The first great result of the adventure, after a great deal of work, came soon: in 2012 at the Xatcobeo, the first Spanish nanosatelite was launched.

This trajectory ended up leading to the launch of Alén Space, a UVigo spin-off that aims to market its services and products developed in this adventure which began roughly in 2008. They have received the support from Ignicia programme, built by Axencia Galega de Innovación and Xunta de Galicia.

A team of engineers who have worked and collaborated with international renown entities, such as the European Space Agency, NASA, the UN, the Institute of Aerospace Technology (INTA) and the Agência Espacial Brasileira are the basis of this venture. They are experts with over a decade of expertise in the development of these cubesats, so they are a reference in Europe and Latin America.

100% missions completed

So far, the success of these missions, in which Alén Space took part has been total. After the Xacobeo event, came the Humsat-D, the DustCube and the Serpens, which met the objectives previously set. And in just three weeks, the Galician company will face a new challenge with the launch of Lume-1, a nanosatellite developed within the European project FireRs, which serves as a tool for the early detection of forest fires and to support the work of research and extinction of these fires. Alén Space team has been responsible for developing and incorporating the necessary payloads, as well as the management of the launch of the satellite and its subsequent operation.

On December 27, the Lume-1 will leave the Russian spacecraft of Vostochny on its way to space, aboard a Soyuz rocket. After a long process of construction, tests and trials, the nanosatellite, with dimensions of 20x10x10 centimeters and a weight of 2.1 kilos, will be put into orbit at an altitude of 490 kilometers.


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