First Croatian satellite to photograph Croatia as of February 2024

CroCube, the first Croatian satellite, presented at the Zagreb innovation Centre (ZICER) on Friday, is expected to be launched into the Earth’s orbit from California in February with a Falcon 9 rocket made by Elon Musk’s company Space X.

CroCube mission head Daniela Jović said the team that had worked on the first Croatian satellite hoped the launch would be motivating also for other companies and experts.

CroCube is a nanosatellite in the shape of a red-and-white checkerboard cube, weighing about 1.1 kilograms and measuring 10x10x10 centimetres.

After its presentation, the satellite will be sent to the Czech Republic to undergo vibration tests that simulate launch conditions.

After that, the satellite is to be launched into the Earth’s orbit in February 2024 from California, aboard the “Transporter-10″ flight of a Falcon 9 rocket made by SpaceX.

The first Croatian satellite will have two cameras and two radio transmitters and it will be photographing Earth from an altitude of 550 kilometres. It will be able to photograph Croatia three times a day for about 12 minutes.

An official web site will be launched to follow the state and movement of the satellite during the mission. The satellite will have an integrated micro SD card with the names of donors, photographs of interested citizens and a special plate inscribed with the names of chief sponsors.

CroCube will eventually be pulled down by gravity and it will combust entirely in the atmosphere without any residue.

Jović is the COO of the Czech-Slovak Spacemanic company which launched the project together with “Društvo za edukaciju van okvira” (EVO).

The project involved experts in different areas and companies while the cube itself was assembled in the cleanroom of the Zagreb Faculty of Science Physics Department.

A participant in the project was the Croatian company Pulsar Labs, which made the first Croatian CubeSat module “AstroTron 1000”, which is part of CroCube.

Pulsar Labs executive director Ante Medic said the launching of CroCube provided also an opportunity for the development of the space industry in Croatia.

Croatian astronomer Ante Radonić said that the first Croatian satellite provided an opportunity to popularise science and technology among young people, which is particularly important for the development of STEM.

Frequencies for communication with Earth have been secured by the Croatian Regulatory Authority for Network Industries (HAKOM) whose director Milan Gosta said the CroCube project “is a beautiful model of cooperation of the regulator and institutions with the private sector.”

“This is of great importance for Croatia. This is a significant technological advance because it opens an entirely new chapter for space research and innovations in other areas,” Gosta said.

Hrvoje Meštrić, head of the Science and Technology Directorate at the Science and Education Ministry, said the launching of the satellite was “also a great opportunity for the Croatian economy”, while the head of the City of Zagreb Information System and Technical Affairs Service, Dražen Lučanin, said that with CroCube Croatia would launch “an impressive thing into space.”