MicroDragon, a made-in-Vietnam earth observation satellite, will be launched into space in Japan on January 17, 2019, according to the Vietnam National Space Centre (VNSC) under the Vietnam Academy of Science and Technology.
Vietnamese engineers work to develop MicroDragon satellite
Citing an announcement of the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) on November 3, the VNSC said MicroDragon and six Japanese satellites will be launched by an Epsilon-4 rocket from the Uchinoura Space Centre in Kagoshima Prefecture at 9:50:20-9:59:37 (local time). MicroDragon will be separated from the rocket at a height of 511 kilometres.
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.
The satellite, measuring 50x50x50 centimeters 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 centimeters, 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.