Vietnam sends locally made satellite to Japan for testing

NanoDragon, a miniaturised satellite developed by the Vietnam Space Centre (VNSC), has been dispatched to Japan for final testing before being launched into orbit in September.

VNSC staff and NanoDragon
VNSC staff and NanoDragon

VNSC Director Pham Anh Tuan said the 4-kilogram satellite is the product of a project to create a nanosatellite under the national space technology programme during the 2016-2020 period.

It is a step towards the goal of mastering the technology to design and manufacture small satellites for earth observation.

In addition to the process of researching, designing, integrating and testing the satellite’s functions which was conducted entirely in Vietnam by VNSC staff, the entire mechanical structure and power supply circuit were also manufactured in Vietnam.

After being tested in a simulated space environment at the Kyushu Institute of Technology, NanoDragon will be returned to Vietnam to await its launch, scheduled for September in coincidence with the VNSC’s 10th founding anniversary.

It is expected to be carried into space by the Epsilon rocket under Japan’s innovative satellite technology demonstration programme and will operate at an altitude of 520 kilometres.

NanoDragon will have two main tasks, namely the monitoring of marine vehicles with an automatic identification system and the use of an optical imaging device to verify the quality of the satellite position controller when operating in orbit.