"Made in Vietnam" satellite NanoDragon was successfully launched into orbit

On November 9, 2021, Japan's Epsilon No.5 rocket carrying NanoDragon - "Made in Vietnam" satellite - was successfully launched into orbit. In this launch, along with NanoDragon, Epsilon No.5 rocket also carried 8 other Japanese satellites. The launch of these 9 satellites is within the framework of "Innovative Satellite Technology Demonstration-2" of Japan Aerospace Agency (JAXA).

Photos of Epsilon No. 5 rocket launched into space

Epsilon No.5 rocket was fired and launched into orbit at 07:55 minutes 16 seconds, after about 52 minutes, the rocket began to drop the satellites it was carrying into orbit. The first satellite to be released was the RAISE-2 satellite. NanoDragon satellite is the 9th (last) satellite to be released into space. NanoDragon satellite is expected to operate in a solar synchronous orbit at an altitude of about 560 km.

Satellites will fly with NanoDragon into orbit under the Program "Innovative Satellite Technology 2" (Photo: JAXA)

09 satellites launched this time include: 01 small satellite, the RAISE-2 satellite of Japan Aerospace Agency weighing 110kg; 04 micro satellites, including HIBARI (55 kg) of Tokyo Institute of Technology, Z-Sat (46 kg) of Mitsubishi Heavy Industries Co., Ltd, DRUMS (62 kg) of Kawasaki Heavy Industries Co., Ltd., TeikyoSat-4 (52 kg) of Teikyo University; 04 cubesat-class satellites are NanoDragon (3.8kg) of VNSC in collaboration with Meisei Electronics Co., Ltd., ASTERISC (4kg) of Chiba Institute of Technology, ARICA (1kg) of Aoyama Gakuin University, KOSEN-1 (3kg) of Kochi National College.

Trajectory of the Epsilon No. 5 rocket (Photo: JAXA)

Assoc.Prof.Dr. Pham Anh Tuan, General Director of Vietnam Space Center said: Previously, NanoDragon satellite was sent to Japan, officially handed over on August 17 to move to Uchinoura Space Center launch site at Kagoshima province, to have final inspection and ready to launch. According to the original plan, Epsilon will carry 9 satellites (including 8 Japanese satellites and one Vietnamese satellite) launched at 7:51 am on October 1. However, about 19 seconds before launch, JAXA made an emergency pause to check the system. After checking, JAXA decided to suspend the launch event on October 1. After that, both the two launch plans on October 7, 2021 and November 7, 2021 were also postponed due to unfavorable weather conditions.

Japanese experts install Vietnam's NanoDragon satellite into the rocket's launch tube (Photo: JAXA)

NanoDragon is a nano-class cubesat satellite weighing 3.8 kg with standard dimensions of 3U (100 x 100 x 340.5 mm). The satellite is researched, designed and manufactured 100% in Vietnam by VNSC's researchers. This satellite is the product of Project "Research, design, manufacture, launch and test operation of nano-sized microsatellites" under "National Science and Technology Program on space technology period 2016 - 2020" and is a product in the development roadmap of small satellites "Made in Vietnam" implemented by VNSC.

NanoDragon satellite was developed with the aim of demonstrating that it is possible to use micro-satellite beam technology to receive Automatic Identification System (AIS) signals for the purpose of avoiding collisions or combining data to track and monitor vehicles at sea. The NanoDragon satellite is also designed to verify the quality of the satellite posture and control system and a new advanced computer developed specifically for small satellites.

According to the development roadmap of small satellite "Made in Vietnam" implemented by VNSC, before that in 2013, PicoDragon microsatellite (1kg) researched and manufactured by VNSC was also launched, operating relatively stably in about 3 months and continuously broadcast the message "PicoDragon VietNam" to ground stations around the world. In 2019, MicroDragon - a product included in the Basic Satellite Training Component, a component of the Project "Prevention of Disasters and Climate Change Using Earth Observation Satellites" (abbreviated as Vietnam Space Center Project) developed by 36 students, who are VNSC researchers, have also been successfully launched into orbit and are operating according to the set goals.

Translated by Phuong Ha
Link to Vietnamese version

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