MENUT – the first Earth Observation (EO) satellite built and launched by Open Cosmos – has returned its first images.
MENUT is a 6U EO smallsat that launched during SpaceX’s Transporter-6 mission in early January. The successful launch saw the satellite deployed from the Exolaunch deployer and the first signal was received a few hours later.
Over the past few weeks, the Open Cosmos team has been at work in the Launch and Early Orbit Phase (LEOP) to ensure there was good communication and the satellite was stable in orbit before moving onto the commissioning phase, where each subsystem is tested to ensure standard functionality is operational. For the MENUT satellite, the subsystems need to integrate to perform complex actions, such as image acquisition, satellite pointing and data download.
MENUT is part of the OpenConstellation, a global shared satellite infrastructure built and managed by Open Cosmos. Countries, institutions and companies are able to contribute their own satellites and create the world’s biggest mutualised constellation. Subsequent Open Cosmos-built small satellites, contributed by leading space organisations in the UK, Spain and Portugal for OpenConstellation, are already being built and will be launched throughout 2023 and 2024.
The OpenConstellation satellites will make it easier for organizations to access satellite data to address challenges around the climate crisis, energy, natural resources and more without having to launch and manage their own satellite with Open Cosmos taking care of the whole end-to-end process.
Jordi Castellvi Esturi, Senior Mission Manager at Open Cosmos, said, “Although it is still early days for the MENUT satellite, the fact that we have received the first clear image from the onboard camera is fantastic validation, not only of this mission but also the ability of Open Cosmos to be able to provide Earth Observation imagery. The whole team has worked incredibly hard over the past months to ensure this project is successful and it’s a very exciting moment for us to see these images. We will now continue to work closely with the customer on the rest of the commissioning phase and will provide a full update on mission success in March.”