This Russian Satellite Will Be The Brightest Star In The Sky, Launch On July 14, 2017

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A Russian satellite with the name of Mayak, which when translated into English means Beacon, will be launched into space in just two weeks’ time and when it does it will be the brightest star up in the sky at night.

Scientists And Astronomers Think Satellite Could Have Negative Consequences

The goal of Russia is to make the satellite unique and they have done this by using a material that is reflective. However, there are some scientists who have given out warnings that the coating may have some negative consequences.

The Russian satellite is only about the size of the typical loaf of bread and it is a CubeSat. Russia is going to launch the satellite on a Soyuz 2.1v vehicle on 14 July and it will be sent from Baikonur Cosmodrome, which is in Kazakhstan and it will be a secondary payload.

Satellite Project Raised $30,000 On Crowdsourcing Website

The project had been headed by the Moscow State Mechanical Engineering University and they managed to raise over $30,000 on Boomstarter, a crowdfunding website in Russia.

Once the satellite is in orbit, which will be around 600 kilometers, it has been designed to unfurl a huge solar reflector that is a giant pyramid shape. Russia said that the goal of the satellite is for it to shine much brighter than any star currently in the night sky. To ensure that it does they made a reflector out of Mylar and it spans 16 square meters. The Mylar reflector is about 20 times thinner than the hair on the head of a human. The satellite’s mission is also going to show off technology, this is a test of how to brake a satellite once it is in orbit and then de-orbiting it.

The leader of the project Alexander Shaenko said that they wanted to be able to show that exploring space is both interesting and exciting; along with the fact that today space exploration is open to anyone who is interested. The sole mission of Mayak is to shine brightly in the night sky and remove satellites from the orbit of Earth that is defunct.

Satellite Could Be As Bright As The Moon

The project is at risk of scientific and environmental group backlash; depending of course just how bright the satellite really is when in orbit. Some have suggested that perhaps it could be as brightly shining as the Moon. If it were to be excessively bright then it may cause trouble for astronomers as they rely on a dark sky to be able to view the universe. One astronomer and former deputy director from the Northumberland Kielder Observatory said that astronomers fight hard for dark skies around the globe. He went on to say that the possibility of it potentially being ruined by ridiculous crowdfunded nonsense turns his heart to despair.

While there may be many who are skeptical about the launch of the satellite, they will not keep it from being launched. The Mayak satellite is going into space on 14 July and for now, the only thing astronomers can do is pray that it will not be too bright.

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