Aalto-1, flight model (2) crop.jpg
Aalto-1 flight model in March 2016.
Mission typeTechnology
OperatorAalto University
COSPAR ID2017-036L
SATCAT no.42775
Mission duration≈2 years
Spacecraft properties
Dry mass3.9 kilograms (8.6 lb)
Start of mission
Launch date23 June 2017
RocketPSLV C38
Orbital parameters
Reference systemGeocentric
RegimeLow Earth
Perigee altitude550 km
Apogee altitude550 km
Inclination97.46 degrees
Artist's impression of Aalto-1 releasing its electrostatic plasma brake tether.

Aalto-1 is a Finnish research nanosatellite, created by students of Aalto University. Based on the CubeSat architecture, it was originally scheduled to be launched in 2013, it was launched on 23 June 2017. It is Finland's first student satellite project and indigenously-produced satellite.[1] As of 2019, the satellite is operational.[2]

Project history

The Aalto-1 project began in 2010 with a feasibility study, which was conducted as part of a university course on space technology.[3] The study was followed by the publication of a preliminary design in 2011.[3] A critical design review of the satellite was conducted in 2012.[3] In all, over 80 students of Aalto University's School of Electrical Engineering were involved in the project.[4]


The solar-powered CubeSat-based satellite will weigh approximately 3 kilograms (6.6 lb),[3] and has 3 main payloads: a miniature Fabry-Pérot spectrometer, designed by VTT Technical Research Centre,[5] a RADMON-radiation detector developed by University of Helsinki and University of Turku for the study of solar wind conditions in the Earth orbit (and to study the radiation environment in general), and an electric sail (dubbed a "brake tether"), which is designed to deorbit it at the end of its 2-year[6] operational lifespan, with the intent of avoiding the creation of space junk.[3]


Originally the satellite was to be launched by a Falcon 9-rocket, but the launch suffered multiple delays due to the accidents that plagued the Falcon 9-rocket in 2015 and 2016. The launch was removed from the Falcon 9-rocket, and Aalto-1 was launched on 23 June 2017 by PSLV-C38 rocket from India.


  1. ^ "The Finnish student satellite project". aalto1.fi. 8 May 2017. Retrieved 25 May 2017.
  2. ^ eis.fi/wordpress/wp-content/uploads/2018/09/Satelliittiesitys.pdf
  3. ^ a b c d e "Aalto-1 – Summary". Aalto.fi. 2012. Archived from the original on 23 December 2014. Retrieved 23 December 2014.
  4. ^ "Finland's first satellite heads for space in early 2017's". aalto1.fi. 27 December 2016. Retrieved 7 January 2015.
  5. ^ "Aalto-1, the Finnish student satellite". SouthgateARC. 17 October 2010. Archived from the original on 25 November 2011. Retrieved 23 November 2011.
  6. ^ Aalto-1: The Finnish Student Nanosatellite. eoPortal Directory.

External links

  • Official website (in Finnish and English)
  • Launch website (in Finnish and English)