NUR-SULTAN – Twenty girls, all participants of the UniSat educational program, launched a cutting-edge nanosatellite using a helium balloon into the upper atmosphere Oct. 30, reported the press service of the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF).
After the launch, the nanosatellite took high-resolution images of earth and the cosmos. Sensors gathered data on radiation, pressure, gravity, light and gas composition, and reams of data, video and images were beamed back to earth for analysis. The UniSat satellites are designed for educational purposes. It has several cameras, one with a potential to take the elliptical image of the earth with 4K resolution.
UNICEF Representative in Kazakhstan Arthur van Diesen said that the UniSat initiative demonstrates women’s potential to push the frontiers of science and technology.
“Today’s launch of the nano-satellite is not only a huge achievement for the girls and women who participated in our project. It also carries great symbolic value and we hope that it will inspire many girls in Kazakhstan to pursue their education and their career in Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics,” he said.
The UniSat is an educational program initiated by UNICEF and the Science and Technology Park of Al-Farabi University (KazNU). The program seeks to develop the knowledge and competencies of girls in the development of nanosatellites and to improve teamwork, public speaking, time management and creativity skills.
Participants of the program were aged 14 to 35 and came from different regions of Kazakhstan to participate in the nanosatellite building course for an intense five-month period. They studied engineering, design, programming, assembling, spacecraft testing and launching.
UNICEF plans to develop the project through innovative crowdfunding and sponsorship and improving the satellites themselves in the future.
As part of the program, young women can also study 3D modeling, PCB design, software and hardware development skills, communication, and Linux programming basics from leading aerospace experts.