Guess What Country Launched A Satellite Days After The Successful Launch Of SpaceX: It Is The Country's First Ever

First Posted: Jan 18, 2017 04:10 AM EST

Days after SpaceX made a successful launch and delivered 10 Iridium satellites in the low-Earth orbit, Singapore also launched its first satellite.

The Singapore satellite is the first one ever to be launched from the International Space Station (ISS). It took place Monday evening. It is called AOBA VELOX-III, which is a joint project between Nanyang Technological University (NTU) and Kyushu Institute of Technology or Kyutech, from Japan, according to Today Online.

The purpose of the launch is to conduct tests to evaluate the durability of the commercial off-the-shelf microprocessors in space while orbiting at 400 km above sea level. It also includes the testing of a micro-propulsion system, consumer-grade electronic components and wireless communication system.

The nano-satellite weighs 2 kg and has a micro thruster that will enable for it to remain in space for six months. It would be two times longer than it should be.

Thus, the Straits Times reported that the catch is, instead of being launched by a rocket, the satellite was shot into orbit around Earth by a Japanese astronaut. The astronaut at the ISS uses a special launcher.

It is the seventh satellite that NTU has launched, though. The two satellites coming from the university were launched in December 2015.

Director of the NTU Satellite Research Centre Mr. Lim Wee Seng shared that, "Building up the local satellite talent pool and developing disruptive technologies like the micro-thruster in the AOBA VELOX-III is important for Singapore's budding space industry."

He added that, "Riding on the success of the AOBA VELOX III, we are now developing our second joint satellite with Kyutech which could lead to small and maneuverable satellites being used as space probes in the future."

As follows, the Director of Kyutech's Laboratory of Spacecraft Environment Interaction Engineering, Professor Mengu Cho, said, "We are looking forward to another joint satellite that is under development and scheduled to be launched in 2018. The long-term goal of the Kyutech-NTU joint space program is to do a lunar mission using the technologies demonstrated by these two satellites."

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