Vietnam’s NanoDragon satellite successfully launched into orbit
The Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) successfully launched a payload of satellites, including Vietnam’s NanoDragon, into outer space on November 9 morning.
The satellites were deployed from Epsilon solid-fuel rocket that blasted off in midair from the Uchinoura Space Centre in Kagoshima prefecture at 07.55am (local time).
According to Dr. Pham Anh Tuan, director of the Vietnam National Space Centre (VNSC), NanoDragon is scheduled to be released from the rocket and traverse over Vietnam’s sky at 09.30am.
The successful launch marked “an important step forward for Vietnam’s space industry,” said Vu Hong Nam, Vietnamese Ambassador to Japan.
3U Cubesat NanoDragon weighing 3.8kg was developed by the Vietnam National Space Center under the Vietnam Academy of Science and Technology. The development of the NanoDragon satellite is part of VNSC's "made in Vietnam" small satellite development roadmap.
The satellite is expected to operate in a sun synchronous orbit at an altitude of about 560 km. This satellite is designed to integrate an automatic identification system (AIS) used for tracking and monitoring vessels at sea.
Vietnamese Ambassador to Japan Vu Hong Nam, who was present at the Uchinoura Space Centre in Kagoshima prefecture to witness the launch, said: “I was touched when witnessing the moment the Epsilon-5 rocket at the Uchinoura Space Centre was launched, carrying Vietnam's NanoDragon satellite into outer space”.
This moment has gone into history and marked a new development milestone of Vietnam's space industry, Nam said.
Previously, the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) had to stop launching Epsilon-5 thrice on October 1, October 7 and November 7 due to ground radar issue, and unfavourable weather.
According to the JAXA, the satellites launched into outer space this time are part of JAXA's second "Innovative satellite technology demonstration" programme. After about 52 minutes, Epsilon-5 will begin dropping the nine satellites into orbit. NanoDragon is the last satellite to be released into outer space after leaving the ground 1 hour, 11 minutes and 38 seconds.