Members of ESTCube-2 team at the satellite reveal in January 2022. Photo: Laila Kaasik

ESTCube is group of space enthusiasts and students, who wish to take Estonian space tech onto the world stage. The main pursuit of the project is to develop, build and launch scientific nanosatellite missions. In addition to technical challenges, we aim to promote and popularise science in schools and the public.

ESTCube team members working in Tartu observatory. Photo: Laila Kaasik

The first immense milestone was the launch of Estonia’s first satellite, the ESTCube-1 in 2013. This satellite made Estonia one of the Space Countries. ESTCube-1 performed its two-year mission in orbit admirably and you can read more about it in the ESTCube-1 section. We’re currently in the process of building our second and larger satellite ESTCube-2, which is developed under the Estonian Student Satellite Foundation, founded in 2016. The satellite’s primary mission is to demonstrate a novel spacecraft propulsion technology – the electric plasma brake. Application of the plasma brake will help combat the space debris issue by removing satellites from orbit at the end of their mission, thus making more room for the next generation. Other important scientific payloads on ESTCube-2 are a set of two spectral Earth observation cameras for vegetation screening and a highly integrated satellite control system.

ESTCube-2 is run by Tartu Observatory and the Estonian Student Satellite Foundation. The Foundation is run by volunteer students, and supports the blossoming of the next generation of space scientists, engineers, and entrepreneurs by providing hands-on education to students and high-schoolers from Estonia and abroad. Our aim is to contribute to space exploration and mankind’s future among the stars.

A composite picture of Estonia and the Baltic Sea taken from space by ESTCube-1