New Vietnamese satellite sent to Japan for launch into orbit

Thursday, 2021-08-12 07:32:46
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Scientists at the Vietnam National Space Centre pose with their NanoDragon satellite before sending it to Japan.
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NDO – A new locally-made micro-satellite developed by experts at the Vietnam National Space Centre (VNSC) has been completed and send to Japan for launching into orbit.

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On August 11, the VNSC announced that its NanoDragon satellite was transported from Noi Bai Airport in Hanoi to Narita Airport in Tokyo that day, before being transferred to the Uchinoura Space Centre launch site in Kagoshima Prefecture and handed over to the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) for launch preparations.

The 3U Cubesat NanoDragon weighs approximately 4 kg and is made up of multiple 10x10×34 cm (3U) modules.

The entire process of researching, designing, integrating and testing the satellite’s functions was carried out in Vietnam.

It was developed by the VNSC (under the Vietnam Academy of Science and Technology) as the result of the nano-class satellite development, launch and trial operation project, under the National Science and Technology Programme on space technology, from 2016 to 2020.

NanoDragon is tasked with using micro-satellite beam technology to receive automatic identification signals of ships for the purpose of tracking and monitoring vehicles at sea.

In addition, the satellite has also been designed to verify the quality of the satellite posture and control system and a newly-developed advanced on-board computer designed specifically for small satellites.

It will be working on Sun-synchronous orbit (SSO) at 560 km above the Earth surface.

In parallel with the satellite development, a ground station to operate the satellite after launch has been developed and installed at the VNSC at Hoa Lac Hi-Tech Park in Hanoi.

VNSC made-in-Vietnam satellites Programme

Prior to NanoDragon, the first made-in-Vietnam satellite, PicoDragon (weighing 1 kg), was successfully launched with signals received in 2013.

MicroDragon (50 kg), developed by the group of 36 young VNSC researchers under Japanese experts’ supervision, was also sent into orbit on January 18, 2019. It has successfully sent pictures from space to its ground station in Japan.