Created by students at the Moscow State Mechanical Engineering University, Mayak (Beacon) was launched on Friday, becoming the first Russian satellite built through crowdfunding.
Mayak was financed by money raised on local crowdfunding platform Boomstarter, where the campaign raised close to 2 million rubles (around $33,000). Rather than seeking state support or financing from a large company, the team obtained funding from the public and its project partner, advertising agency 12.digital.
“We wanted to prove that it is possible to launch a satellite without state support or the assistance of a huge corporation,” stated the agency’s director, Nikita Ershov, according to Russia Beyond the Headlines.
Launched on a Soyuz rocket from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan along with 71 other satellites, Mayak will both test an aerodynamic braking system that will make it possible for satellites to return to Earth without the use of an engine and will use its reflectors — which make Mayak among the brightest objects in the sky — to provide data on the visibility to distance ratio. In addition, the project aims to promote youth engagement and interest in space exploration.
Find out more about Mayak here.
Source: Russia Beyond the Headlines