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|Micro Dragon, a satellite made by Vietnamese engineers, is expected to be launched into space in late 2018, according to the Việt Nam National Space Centre (VNSC) under the Việt Nam Academy of Science and Technology.- Photo vnsc.org.vn|
VNSC Director General Phạm Anh Tuấn said Japanese authorised agencies are considering granting a safety licence for Micro Dragon so that it could be launched later this year. After receiving the licence, it will be put into orbit by the Epsilon rocket, made by IHI Aerospace of Japan.
Micro Dragon, an earth observation satellite, weighs 50kg and measures 50x50x50cm. It was created by 36 VNSC engineers who studied space technology in Japan. They began working on the satellite in 2013 and tested it successfully in 2017.
After going into orbit, it will observe coastal sea areas to assess water quality, locate fisheries resources and monitor changes in coastal waters to serve Việt Nam’s aquaculture industry. It is also set to receive sensory signals from the ground and then transfer data to other distant places on earth, while testing new materials like atomic oxygen and antimony tin oxide coating solar cell.
Micro Dragon is the next step in Việt Nam’s road map to gradually master satellite design and production.
Earlier, VNSC engineers had created Pico Dragon, a 1kg satellite measuring 10x10x11.35cm. It was launched into space in November 2013 and has operated successfully.
After Micro Dragon, Việt Nam plans to create LOTUSat-1 and LOTUSat-2 satellites, weighing about 600kg and measuring 1.5m x 1.5m x 3m each.