Vietnam's NanoDragon satellite sent to Japan to prepare for launch

NanoDragon satellite is a nano-class cubesat satellite weighing about 4 kg with a size of 3U (100 x 100 x 340.5 mm), developed by the Vietnam Space Center (VNSC) under the Vietnam Academy of Science and Technology. The satellite is the product of the Project "Research, design, manufacture, launch and test operation of nano-sized microsatellites" under the "National Science and Technology Program on space technology in the period 2016 – 2020”. The process of researching, designing, manufacturing, integrating and testing satellite functions is completely carried out in Vietnam by the research staff of VNSC.

NanoDragon satellite was developed with the following purposes: mastering the technology of developing small satellite systems of the Southern Institute; testing the system and technology of micro-satellite beams that can receive signals and automatically identify ships (Automatic Identification System - AIS) to track and monitor vehicles at sea; complete and calibrate quality control system and determine satellite posture. The NanoDragon satellite is expected to operate in a solar synchronous orbit at an altitude of about 560 km.

NanoDragon satellite in the clean room of VNSC

After completing the manufacturing, integration and functional testing in Vietnam, from 09/03/2021 to 09/04/2021, the satellite has completed pre-launch environment testing at the Small Satellite Test Center, Kyushu Institute of Technology, Japan. After testing in Japan, the satellite was returned to Vietnam for further improvement. In parallel with the satellite development, a ground station to operate the satellite after launch was developed and completed installed at VNSC, Hoa Lac Hi-Tech Park. The ground station is now ready for operation. 

Ground station for NanoDragon satellite at VNSC, Hoa Lac Hi-Tech Park

On August 11, 2021, the NanoDragon satellite was transferred from Noi Bai Airport to Narita Airport, Tokyo. After that, the satellite will be transferred to the Uchinoura Space Center launch site, Kagoshima Prefecture, to be handed over to the Japan Aerospace Agency (JAXA), Japan.

NanoDragon satellite about to be shipped to Japan for handover

VNSC's Made in Vietnam satellite development roadmap

Before NanoDragon, VNSC also successfully built PicoDragon (1kg) micro satellite, which was launched into orbit and received signals in 2013. The MicroDragon satellite (50kg) was built by a team of 36 staff of VNSC, under the guidance of Japanese experts, and was successfully launched into orbit in January 2019, and received images taken from satellites. NanoDragon is a satellite designed and manufactured 100% in Vietnam, and is a product in the development roadmap of small satellites "Made in Vietnam" of VNSC, in order to implement the “Strategy for development and application of space science and technology to 2030” approved by the Prime Minister on 04/02/2021. 

Translated by Phuong Ha
Link to Vietnamese version








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