Tuesday, 11 Dec 2018
SCIENCE & TECH

Vietnam’s MicroDragon satellite expected to launch in early 2019

Updated at Sunday, 02 Dec 2018, 18:12
The Hanoitimes - MicroDragon is the next step in Vietnam’s process of gradually mastering the satellite design and manufacturing.
Japan Aerospace Research and Development Agency (JAXA) has announced that MicroDragon, a made-in-Vietnam earth observation satellite, will be launched into space at 9h50 (Japan time) on January 17, 2019.

Micro Dragon will be launched into space by Epsilon rocket manufactured by Japan's IHI Aerospace Company. The launching site is Uchinoura Space Center, Kagoshima Prefecture, Japan.
 
Vietnam’s MicroDragon was built and scheduled to launch into space on January 17, 2019. Photo: Chinhphu.vn
Vietnam’s MicroDragon was built and scheduled to launch into space on January 17, 2019. Photo: Chinhphu.vn
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 Vietnam’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 and  test new material as well (Atomic oxygen, Antimony Tin Oxide Coating Solar cell).

MicroDragon was developed by 36 Vietnamese engineers from the Vietnam National Space Center (VNSC) under the Vietnam Academy of Science and Technology, who were sent to study space technology in Japan’s top five universities. Starting manufacturing the satellite in 2013, the group successfully completed and tested it in 2017. 

VNSC’s Director Pham Anh Tuan said that Epsilon rocket will take Vietnam's MicroDragon satellite into the orbit.

MicroDragon is the next step in Vietnam’s process of gradually mastering the satellite design and manufacturing. Prior to that, the engineers of the Vietnam Space Center successfully built the Pico Dragon (10 x 10 x 11.35 cm in size and 1 kg in weight)  which was launched into orbit in November 2013. As scheduled, after MicroDragon, Vietnam will make LOTUSat-1 and LOTUSat-2 satellites with the latest radar technology, Tuan added.

He stressed that this is one of the results of the project "Preventing disaster and climate change using earth observation satellites” funded with Japan’s preferential ODA resources and Vietnam’s counterpart fund. 

After seven years of implementation, the project has upgraded and set up a warning and mitigation system for climate change and natural disasters, natural resource management and environmental monitoring, contributing to Vietnam’s socio-economic development and national security, Tuan noted.

According to experts, the project will contribute to the realization of important objectives and specific tasks of the "Strategy for research and application of aerospace technology up to 2020".
Trung Kien
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