MicroDragon, a made-in-Vietnam earth observation satellite, will be launched into orbit by an Epsilon-4 rocket from the Uchinoura Space Centre in Japan’s Kagoshima Prefecture at 7:50 of January 17 (Hanoi time), the Vietnam National Space Centre (VNSC) announced on January 9.
MicroDragon was developed by 36 Vietnamese engineers from the VNSC, who were sent to study space technology in Japan’s top five universities, namely the University of Tokyo, Keio University, Hokkaido University, Tohoku University and Kyushu Institute of Technology. Starting manufacturing the satellite in 2013, the group successfully completed and tested it in 2017.
|MicroDragon satellite on vibration test for the last time (Source: VNSC)
The satellite, measuring 50x50x50 centimetres and weighing 50 kilograms, is designed to monitor the quality of water in coastal areas, locate fishery resources, and observe changes in the ocean to assist the nation’s aquaculture. Also, it will help exchange database with the Microsatellite community in the world to enhance capacity in response to climate change and natural disasters.
Earlier, VNSC engineers successfully made a satellite named PicoDragon (10x10x11.35 centimetres, 1 kg), which was launched into orbit in 2013. As scheduled, after MicroDragon, Vietnam will make LOTUSat-1 and LOTUSat-2 satellites with advanced radar technology, each weighing 600kg and measuring 1.5×1.5×3 meters with a 5-year lifetime in orbit. The country is also developing a 10kg NanoDragon satellite.VNA