Brightest 'Star' in the Sky May Soon Be This Russian Satellite

If all goes to plan, the shiny new probe will help test methods for cleaning up space junk orbiting Earth.

Soon, there may be a new human-made “star” gliding across the heavens that will be brighter than both the International Space Station and the planet Venus.

Mayak, the Russian word for “beacon,” is a pyramid-shaped satellite that is the brainchild of a group of students at the Moscow State University of Mechanical Engineering (MSUME), who successfully crowdfunded the money to build and launch the probe.

Their 3U CubeSat is part of a flotilla of 73 satellites hitching a ride aboard a Soyuz rocket scheduled to launch on June 14 from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan.

Once in orbit some 373 miles above Earth, the bread loaf-size satellite will attempt to deploy four triangular reflectors neatly folded inside a canister. Once unfurled,

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