On 1 December 2023, at 19:19 CET (18:18 GMT), Ireland's first satellite EIRSAT-1 launched from Vandenberg Space Force Base in California, USA.
Built by students at University College Dublin under guidance of ESA’s Education Office, EIRSAT-1 is a 2-unit CubeSat carrying three experiments, including a novel gamma ray detector that will study some of the most luminous explosions in the universe.
The mission has been in development since the team was accepted to the ESA Academy Fly Your Satellite! programme in 2017. Over the past six years, the students have worked with ESA experts and acquired the professional competences needed to design and build their satellite. They were accompanied through test campaigns at ESA Education’s CubeSat Support Facility in Belgium and other ESA sites, and were offered the opportunity to launch their satellite by ESA.