Monaco’s space programme gets underway next week with the launch of the OSM-1 Cicero, a 10kg nanosatellite, which will take off from the Kourou Space Centre in French Guiana at 03:51, Monaco time, on June 19.

Manufactured in Monaco by Orbital Solutions, and carried into orbit by an Ariana rocket, the shoebox-sized satellite will collect atmospheric data changes in order to improve weather forecasting models.

Francesco Bongiovanni, founder of Orbital Solutions, said: “These small satellites are in low earth orbit so rotate very fast, at around 27,000 km/h. They go around the planet in 90 minutes.” This first project will not be the last, as the company already has plans to build a nanosatellite to detect greenhouse gases.

PHOTO: HSH Prince Albert examines Orbital Solutions’ handiwork Prince’s Palace