Satellites: PUCP-Sat-1

PUCP-SAT-1 & Pocket-PUCP

PUCP-SAT-1 & Pocket-PUCP depicted in orbit

PUCP-SAT-1 is the first satellite of Peru. This project involved the design, construction, testing and put in orbit of this LEO satellite for academic and research purposes. The satellite was joined it’s italian launcher in Rome and was later taken to the Russian cosmodrome in Jasny, where it was launched on November 21, 2013 in an historic event for Peru.

The beginnings of this project dates back to 1990, when Institute for Radio Astronomy’s director, Dr. Jorge Heraud, back then a member of the Peruvian Radio Club, raises the possibility of launching a satellite for communications. A similar initiative was taken up in the university (PUCP), in order to put a satellite into orbit for academic and research purposes, receiving the support of the rector, which the university council ratified in late 2008. This long run project officially started in January 2009, with the construction of institute’s building with appropriate facilities for the development of satellites, for example, a class 1000 clean room. After the construction of the satellite and machines required for certification and function tests (vibration, thermal and vacuum tests), the satellite was completed in late 2012; however, the agreed launch with an italian private group was postponed one year, until November 2013. PUCP-SAT-1 joined its italian launcher in Rome, to then be integrated into Russian Dnepr rocket in Jasny. Finally, almost 4 years after the formal start of the project, the 21st of November 2013, the satellite was successfully launched and put in orbit from the Russian cosmodrome in Jasny, which started the space age in Peru. Fifteen days later, the second satellite of Peru, Pocket-PUCP, was released from inside of the PUCP-SAT-1, in an unprecedented event for this type and size of satellites.