Vietnam's NanoDragon microsatellite to be launched in Japan
Vietnam has sent NanoDragon satellite to Japan to hand over to the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) to launch into space.
According to information from the Vietnam Space Center, the NanoDragon satellite has been transported from Noi Bai airport to Narita airport (Tokyo, Japan). The satellite will be transferred to the Uchinoura Space Center’s launch site, Kagoshima Prefecture to be handed over to the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency.
NanoDragon is a cubesat satellite, with the nano layer weighing about 4 kg and the 3U size (100 x 100 x 340.5 mm). The satellite was developed by the Vietnam Space Center under the Vietnam Academy of Science and Technology.
The NanoDragon satellite is the product of the Project "Research, design, manufacture, launch and test operation of nano-sized microsatellites" under the "National science and technology program on space technology in 2016-2020”. The whole process of researching, designing, integrating and testing satellite functions was completely conducted in Vietnam by staff of the Vietnam Space Center.
NanoDragon is expected to operate in a solar synchronous orbit at an altitude of about 560 km. The satellite was developed for the purpose of demonstrating that it is possible to use micro-satellite beam technology to receive automatic identification system (AIS) used for tracking and monitoring vehicles at sea.
After completing the manufacturing, integration and functional testing process in Vietnam, from March 9 to April 9, 2021, the pre-launch environment test was performed at the Test Center for Small Satellites of the Kyushu Institute of Technology, Japan.
A ground station to operate the satellite after launch was installed at the Vietnam Space Center in Hoa Lac Hi-Tech Park, Hanoi.
Previously, Vietnam Space Center successfully built PicoDragon (1kg) micro satellite, launched into orbit and received signal in 2013. In addition, MicroDragon satellite (50kg) was developed by a group of 36 staff of the Vietnam Space Center under the guidance of Japanese experts. This satellite was successfully launched into orbit in January 2019 and captured images.
NanoDragon is a satellite wholly designed and manufactured in Vietnam and is a product included in the development roadmap of "Made in Vietnam" small satellites of the Vietnam Space Center to implement the strategy on "Development and application of space science and technology until 2030".
Micro-satellite NanoDragon, developed and built by the Vietnam National Space Center (VNSC), will go through a final test this month before it is put into orbit this September.