Peru university tracks environmental change through space launch

Greatly expanded satellite programme should provide vital new data

November 29, 2016
Map of Peru
Source: iStock

Peru's National University of Engineering has announced plans to launch 50 satellites into space to gather crucial information about radiation.

Scientist Hector Bedon Monzon is the creator of the Peruvian satellite Chasqui 1, which has already been launched by Russian astronauts.

Now his team has joined forces with the Polytechnic University of Madrid (including four Peruvian researchers based there) and the National Autonomous University of Mexico to launch 50 further satellites under an ambitious project known as QB50. Five have already been sent out in a Russian rocket. Ten more will be launched from Peru's International Space Station in February.

"The mission's main goal", Mr Bedon told the Andina news agency, "will be to measure parameters in space, mainly radiation levels, but as these are 2-3 kilogramme satellites, additional burdens can be placed on in order to gather other types of information."

The large number of satellites should prove a greater depth of information than would be available otherwise, information that should prove highly useful in estimating environmental change.

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