Having successfully completed its mission, Masat-1, Hungary’s first satellite, is now destroyed after entering the Earth’s atmosphere, the research team controlling its mission told the Hungarian news agency MTI on Saturday.
The satellite is believed to have burned up as projected, between 23:15 pm on Friday and 0:45 am on Saturday. According to the scientists, its last online package was received at 21:21.43 pm on Saturday, after which no further signal from Masat-1 was detected. This is due partly to the fact that the satellite spent its final hours above an ocean or an area where no surface radars collecting data for Hungarian controllers exist.
The satellite would have reached an area covered by Hungarian observance at 2:27 am, but the Budapest University of Technology and Economics’s land observatory was unable to receive its signals by that time.
As László Vajta, dean of the Budapest University of Technology and Economics’s (BME) Faculty of Electrical Engineering and Informatics, explained, the deorbiting of Masat-1 – which is a natural event in the life cycle of satellites – does not mark the closure of the project but is rather a further phase of scientific and technological cooperation aiming at the establishment of space research in Hungary.
The birth of the Masat-1 satellite, which orbited on 13 February 2012, became a reality thanks to the work of researchers at two departments of BME’s Faculty of Electrical Engineering and Informatics, as well as the Hungarian Space Research Office and over sixty domestic and foreign companies.