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Irish Space Agency’s satellite design has changed to make it more robust

The Irish Space agency’s design for its new satellite, launched from Europe in January, has changed dramatically.

The €20 million Irish Space Technology Programme (ISTP) mission is designed to send a communications satellite to a geosynchronous orbit in the Pacific Ocean.

A series of computer simulations show the spacecraft will operate in a much more resilient way than it did in the past.ISTP chief executive Patrick O’Sullivan said the team worked on the redesign to improve the spacecraft’s ability to withstand the forces of reentry and to protect itself from debris during reentry.

The changes will mean the satellite can be launched in 2018.

The first test flight of the satellite is planned for 2021, with the next flight in 2023.ISTC’s next satellites are due to be launched from France in 2020 and the United States in 2021.