After the continuing delay of a previous mission, the Aalto-2 satellite has become the first Finnish satellite launched into space.
The Aalto-2 nanosatellite began as a doctoral project at the Aalto University in Helsinki in 2012, following the Aalto-1 student project in 2010. The American company Space X was meant to launch Aalto-1 on its Falcon 9 rocket a year ago, but due to continuous delays it has not yet taken off.
Aalto-2 is taking part in the international QB50 mission, which aims to produce the first comprehensive model of the thermosphere—the layer between the Earth’s atmosphere and space. About 50 nanosatellites are taking part. The satellites were launched on 18 April by the Anteres rocket operated by the company Orbital ATK’s Cygnus spacecraft.