Jan 19, 2017
Singapore’s Nanyang Technological University (NTU) has successfully launched its 7th satellite into space from the International Space Station (ISS) Monday evening, said NTU in a press release on Tuesday.
Named the AOBA VELOX-III, the satellite is the first Singapore satellite to be launched from the ISS, a 110-meter habitable human-made satellite that orbits the earth, according to the release.
NTU said the satellite was delivered to the ISS in December 2016 by Japan’s national aerospace agency, the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency, on a resupply rocket from the Yoshinobu Launch Complex at Tanegashima Space Center, Japan.
Unlike the conventional way of launching a satellite directly into space from a rocket, the two-kilogram VELOX-III was shot into orbit around earth using a special launcher by a Japanese astronaut at the ISS.
The AOBA VELOX-III is a joint project between NTU and Japan’s Kyushu Institute of Technology (Kyutech). The nano-satellite features a unique micro-thruster built by NTU, which enables the satellite to remain in space twice as long than it usually would.
Traditionally, small satellites do not have thrusters due to modest budgets and insufficient space to mount conventional thrusters used by bigger satellites. Without thrusters, satellites have no means to keep them in orbit and will gradually lose altitude.
Director of the NTU Satellite Research Center Lim Wee Seng said they have successfully made contact with AOBA VELOX-III, which is now orbiting 400 kilometers above the Earth.
The satellite will be conducting several tests, including the made-in-NTU micro-propulsion system, a new wireless communication system developed by Kyutech and experiments to evaluate the durability of commercial off-the-shelf microprocessors in space.
Professor Mengu Cho, Director of Kyutech’s Laboratory of Spacecraft Environment Interaction Engineering, said the launch of AOBA VELOX-III is the tangible result of research collaboration between Kyutech and NTU for the past three years.
AOBA VELOX-III is an important milestone in the Japan-Singapore inter-university space exploration.
Source: Space Daily.