1/2009

Sky is not the limit 

Itikka-laitteisto

The Itikka test equipment built by members of Castor Space Club
at Tampere University of Technology (TUT).

The sky is not the limit for the TUT students. Members of the Castor Space Club launched self-designed test equipment to space and captured the first Finnish space images.  

The Itikka test equipment built by members of Castor Space Club at Tampere University of Technology (TUT) reached an altitude of 88 kilometres during a space flight on March 2009. The rocket was launched from Esrange Space Centre in Kiruna, Sweden.

"The European Space Agency ESA offered us the opportunity to apply for the REXUS programme. We got interested and decided to put our project forward for the programme", says Petri Rokka, Itikka teams project manager.

First Finnish images taken from space

"The Itikka equipment was developed for real-time position and location measurement without GPS by employing acceleration and angular velocity sensors. We also wanted to be the ones to capture the first images of the Earth from a high altitude with equipment assembled entirely in Finland," says Rokka.

The Itikka team consists of around dozen undergraduate and graduate students at TUT who were brought together by their interest in space technology.

Equipment worked as planned

The six-metre long REXUS sounding rocket that weighs over 500 kilograms carried the experimental equipment as high as 88 kilometres above sea level. The rocket landed with a parachute at a distance of some 70 kilometres from the launch site. After that the payload equipment was delivered with a helicopter for subsequent recovery and analysis.

The Itikka team reported that all the onboard systems worked as planned and collected desired data on the flight path.

 

Further information:

Itikka experiment (Castor Space Club) 

 

Text: Tuuli Laukkanen
Photo: Castor Space Club

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