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Young Czech students joined the final part of European space competition - they launched their own mini satellite

Prague, May 23rd 2012 – Czech high school students joined the final part of 2nd European competition CanSat, which took place in the Andoya Rocket Range in Norway. The goal of competing teams was to develop and test their own satellite, fitting into a can of drink. The competition is co-organized by the ESA and the Czech team was provided by CSO.

The CanSat competition is designed for high-school teams and their teachers from ESA member states and its goal is to enable students try the preparation of a space research experiment. The final race this year was joined by 14 European teams. The main objective was to design a functional micro-satellite, which fits into a can of soft drink. This micro-satellite was lifted off by the small sounding rocket into a height of one kilometer, from which it landed by parachute. During the decent the satellite transmitted various measured data like air pressure, temperature, humidity, acceleration and GPS coordinates to the ground station. The task of teams was to collect, analyze and evaluate transmitted data. The Czech republic was represented by Martin Bilek, Petr Bartos, Patrik Bachan and Radovan Blazek from the Electro-technical high school in Prague 2.

The team of Czech students also introduced their novel concept of CanSat, applying unique design developed together by students and their teachers. “The major benefit of this competition lays in fact, that students from various countries have the opportunity to exchange their novel ideas and learn to work in a way, how they are expected to work later in adult life. They are taught to approach to a research task in an organized and methodological way, already from the initial proposal through the manufacturing process of CanSat, programming, software testing up to editing the final documentation.” This was a summary of the main benefits of the competition by Milan Halousek from the Czech Space Office, which is the main driving element, of the organization of students space activities in the Czech republic. Despite the fact that the Czech team did not win the competition, this mission over the polar circle was very profitable for several reasons. “The evaluating committee appreciated the unique parachute system of the Czech design, however mainly due to the fact that only the Czech team managed to develop its own CanSat without the use of a commercially available construction kit,” adds Halousek.