On Dec 27, 2013 Postimees, a prominent Estonian Daily newspaper, has awarded its annual title “person of the year 2013” to Mart Noorma – the initiator and scientific mentor of the Student satellite project ESTCube-1. This title is each year awarded by Postimees to a person who has during the year accomplished something significant, with impact expected to last for years to come.

ESTCube-1 is the first Estonian satellite. It was built by students from University of Tartu in collaboration with Estonian Aviation Academy, Tallinn University of Technology and Estonian University of Life Sciences, as well as participants from abroad. The main goal of the satellite is testing the so-called solar sail concept. The satellite was successfully launched on May 7, 2013. The solar sail experiment is planned to be carried out in 2014. Successful lauch of the satellite brings Estonia into the family of space states and marks the beginning of a new era in Estonian space technology. A next satellite – ESTCube-2 – is already in planning (in the framework of the QB50 project for ionosphere measurements).

The ESTCube satellite project has strong links also with the Applied Measurement Science master’s programme: three students of the programme work or have worked in the ESTCube-1 project: Kaspars Laizans, Martynas Pelakauskas and Mykola Tverdokhlib.

Mart Noorma works as senior lecturer of optical metrology and as vice-dean of studies at Faculty of Science and Technology, University of Tartu. He is the leader of the space technology group at University of Tartu. He is also well known for introducing innovative teaching approaches at University of Tartu and for his wide-ranging activities as popularizer of science.

(Photo: Peeter Langovits, Postimees)


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