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Tiny satellites to be Finnish flag carriers in space technology

Xinhua,December 12, 2017 Adjust font size:

HELSINKI, Dec. 11 (Xinhua) -- Small "nano" satellites will be a growing Finnish contribution to space services in the near future, as Helsinki-based Reaktor Spacelab plans to send up tens of small satellites during the next five years.

The company's CEO Tuomas Tikka told national broadcaster Yle on Monday the first satellite is to be launched from India early in 2018. The development process of the satellite took a year and a half.

The new Finnish satellites are light and weigh only some kilograms. "These satellites can provide hyperspectral pictures about the terrain. They can be utilized in agriculture, for example, for improving the productivity of arable land", Tikka said.

The company has worked in cooperation with long established Finnish space technology companies, including Vaisala and Space Systems Finland.

Space technology is a focal area of Finnish industrial development. A key part of the efforts is a space technology business incubation center for start-ups in the Aalto University. The European Space Agency (ESA), Espoo-based Aalto University and the Finnish Ministry of Economic Affairs and Employment signed an agreement in November about the center.

ESA Director General Jan Worner said earlier the center would support 50 space technology startups during the next five years.

Jan Brax, an associate professor of Aalto University, told Yle that the ESA incubator would make the Otaniemi campus attractive not only to space technology startups, but also to enterprises that process big data.

The objective of the Finnish Space Strategy is to raise the country's space activities to the international top level by 2020. Enditem