Swiss nanosatellite launched into orbit

The cube-shaped nanosatellite measures just 10 centimetres (4 inches) per side. Astrocast

A nanosatellite developed by Swiss start-up Astrocast was launched into space Monday at a SpaceX rocket launch in California. Following a test phase, the shoebox-sized device will be used to better monitor infrastructure and facilities, including those in remote areas.

This content was published on December 4, 2018 - 15:38

The demonstration satellite is the first from Astrocast, a spin-off of the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology in Lausanne (EPFL), and will be used to test an Internet-of-ThingsExternal link (IoT) system that connects millions of objects all over the Earth’s surface.

A type of cube-shaped nanosatellite measuring just 10 centimetres (4 inches) per side, Astrocast’s device went into orbit along with some 70 other satellites aboard the Falcon 9 rocket from SpaceX, which is owned by the Tesla CEO Elon Musk.

The satellites were gradually put into a sun-synchronous polar orbit at an altitude of 575km in the hours following take-off.

+ Read more about innovation at Swiss universities

After the test phase, the EPFL spin-off’s system will be used to monitor infrastructure and facilities, such as water purification operations in African villages, remotely and cost-effectively. The machines will have an internal communication module that will send water consumption and status data several times per day.

A second satellite of the same type will be deployed from India in January, and the company plans to launch another 80 satellites into orbit by 2022.

This article was automatically imported from our old content management system. If you see any display errors, please let us know:

Comments under this article have been turned off. You can find an overview of ongoing debates with our journalists here. Please join us!

If you want to start a conversation about a topic raised in this article or want to report factual errors, email us at

Share this story

Join the conversation!

With a SWI account, you have the opportunity to contribute on our website.

You can Login or register here.