The first satellite project of TalTech Space Centre was a success. On 5 July 2019, the student satellite Koit was launched into orbit, and on 3 September 2020, Hämarik followed. The five-year project provided the university with a wealth of new experience and knowledge in the rapidly developing space sector. Now that new projects are looming, the university thanked the companies whose contributions enabled the university to bring the first satellite project to fruition and discussed future possibilities with them.
First, Rector of TalTech Tiit Land handed over a model of the satellite to Urmas Kõlli, the chairman of the board of AS Datel, whose company helped develop software and contributed computers and screens. ‘As Datel is increasingly becoming a space data processing company, we were able to test a number of software developments while participating in the programme,’ said Kõlli. ‘On the other hand, we at Datel have decided that, as alumni, we will donate a part of our profits back to our alma mater, TalTech.’ OÜ Satrian Aerospace, AS Telegrupp, and AS Stoneridge Electronics also received satellite models as tokens of gratitude for their partnership.
Tiit Land, Rector of TalTech, thanked the entrepreneurs, stressing in particular that the students of the university can gain very important knowledge and experience by participating in ambitious projects in various fields. ‘Such projects would be impossible without sponsors,’ said Tiit Land.
Rauno Gordon, the former head of the Space Centre, also stressed the importance of the project for students. ‘This journey had many twists and turns, which gave the team an invaluable opportunity to gain a variety of hands-on experiences, learn about advanced technologies in several fields, and get to know companies in the space sector,’ he said. ‘Moreover, the space programme of Mektory was very significant for me personally as well.’
The efforts of students in the space sector continue. The joint plans of the students of TalTech and the University of Tartu were presented by project manager and TalTech PhD student Katriin Kristmann and TalTech team leader Markus Maalt. The new student project, SUTS, aims to develop a satellite platform that will offer development companies in the Estonian private sector a significantly more cost-effective way to test new technologies in orbit. There are already a number of applicants for the science cargo spots of the mission, and the event also included discussions with the sponsors of the Koit and Hämarik project. SUTS is going to be launched in 2027.