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Launch of Vietnam’s NanoDragon satellite postponed again

Launch of Vietnam’s NanoDragon satellite postponed again

Friday, October 08, 2021, 09:30 GMT+7
Launch of Vietnam’s NanoDragon satellite postponed again
NanoDragon satellite is seen when it was under development by Vietnamese researchers. Photo: VNSC

The Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) has once again canceled the lift-off of its Epsilon 5 rocket, expected to carry Vietnam’s NanoDragon satellite into outer space, due to bad weather conditions.

After being suspended about a week ago, the re-launch was scheduled at 8:00 am on Thursday (Vietnam time) at the Uchinoura Space Center in the Japanese town of Kimotsuki, Kagoshima Prefecture.

However, just a moment before the expected re-launching time, the JAXA decided to cancel the blast-off because of the unfavorable wind force.

The Epsilon 5 rocket was slated to carry the 3.8-kilogram NanoDragon, which was developed by the Vietnam National Space Center (VNSC), and eight other satellites of Japan, into orbit.

If it had not been for the suspension, NanoDragon would have been Vietnam’s third satellite to go to space. 

The next launch schedule will be announced by the JAXA in the coming time.

On October 1, the launch of the rocket at the same space center was also called off, just 19 seconds ahead of schedule, due to a technical problem.  

NanoDragon was sent to Japan on August 11 for tests before launch.

A ground station was already built at the VNSC headquarters at Hoa Lac Hi-Tech Park in Hanoi to operate the satellite after the planned launch.

NanoDragon, a nano-class cubesat satellite with standard dimensions of 3U (100 x 100 x 340.5 millimeters), was scheduled to operate in orbit at an altitude of about 560 kilometers from the earth.

The satellite can use micro-satellite beam technology to receive Automatic Identification System (AIS) signals that serve the tracking and observation of activities at sea.

Being created from a nano-scale satellite project under the national space technology program during the 2016-20 period, NanoDragon has passed all quality tests in Japan. 

All stages of the project were completely carried out in Vietnam by VNSC researchers.

The VNSC previously sent up two other satellites, including one-kilogram PicoDragon in August 2013 and 50-kilogram MicroDragon in January 2019.

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Vinh Tho / Tuoi Tre News

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