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Hanoi, Nov. 9 - The Vietnamese micro-satellite NanoDragon was launched today from the Japanese polygon of Uchinoura, after three postponements, two due to atmospheric conditions and another due to technical problems.

The device left for space on Tuesday morning aboard the Epsilon carrier rocket, along with eight small Japanese satellites, confirmed the ambassador of Vietnam in that country, Vu Hong Nam, who witnessed the operation.

This is a new milestone in the development of the Vietnamese space industry, the diplomat said.

The launch had already been attempted three times: on October 1, it was prevented by a failure in the radar system in charge of determining the speed and position of the carrier rocket; and on the 7th of that month and last Sunday, the strong winds prevailing in the polygon.

Measuring 10x10x34 centimeters and weighing almost four kilograms, the NanoDragon will operate in a Sun-synchronous orbit at an altitude of about 560 kilometers. Its mission will consist of locating vessels on the high seas using a system similar to the well-known GPS.

The research, design and manufacturing process of the micro-satellite was fully carried out by the Vietnam National Space Center, while the review of its technical parameters was carried out by the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency.

Vietnamese scientists work on two larger satellites, LOTUSat-1 and LOTUSat-2, whose missions will be to provide data to improve the efficiency of natural resource management and prevent damage caused by typhoons and other natural disasters. (PL)



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