UNAM’s first Colmena mission successfully concluded

UNAM’s first Colmena mission successfully concluded

MEXICO - The Institute of Nuclear Sciences of the National Autonomous University of Mexico (UNAM) reported on the conclusion of the first Colmena mission, which entered the Earth's atmosphere where it disintegrated.

"Today is the end of Colmena and this will be its epic finale," said Dr. Gustavo Medina Tanco, from UNAM's Nuclear Research Institute, who heads the Space Instrumentation Laboratory (LINX) in charge of the creation and development of the Colmena project.

"The impact was estimated to be northeast of Australia and New Zealand, so the LINX team commemorated the event with a mixture of emotions, but dominated by the happiness of seeing the job accomplished," said Medina.

"We demonstrated that microrobots, electronics and telecommunications can be designed and built for use in space; we managed to certify on the ground, in extensive testing in Mexico and in the USA our technology to be integrated into the Peregrine spacecraft and uploaded to the Vulcan-Centaur rocket; we validated the survivability and integrity of our mechanical solutions in the launch from Cape Canaveral," he added.

Medina added that the project also validated new passive, low mass and low cost techniques to mitigate the effects of deep space.

"We managed to turn on and operate our technology (communications, data processing, onboard computers, power systems, etc.) in deep space, outside the magnetosphere and 400,000 km away from Earth; and we demonstrated that Mexico is a player in the space sector and in the new race to the Moon, positioning itself among a bunch of high-tech countries," he concluded.