NASA launched NepaliSat-1, Nepal’s own satellite, from Virginia, USA, at 2 AM. The satellite was launched by Orbital ATK, an American aerospace manufacturer and defence industry company.
With Nepali flag and the logo of Nepal Academy of Science and Technology printed on it, NepaliSat-1 is kept at the International Space Station for a month and then it will be sent to orbit the earth.
According to Nepal Academy of Science and Technology, NepaliSat-1 is now in the lower orbit — some 400 kilometres away from the earth. It will be in the Nepali orbit only for around five minutes.
Under the BIRDS project of the Japanese Kyushu Institute of Technology, Nepal Academy of Science and Technology initiated the launch of the country’s own satellite. The BIRDS project has been designed in association with the United Nations aiming to help countries launch their first satellite.
The Himalayan Times reports that Nepal Academy of Science and Technology has invested nearly Rs 20 million for the satellite that weighs 1.3 kilograms.
Spokesperson for NAST Suresh Kumar Dhungel said they invested in the satellite in a bid to open new paths for space engineering in the country. Dhungel said the satellite was not being launched only for strategic purposes.
He informed that with the help of NepaliSat-1, ground station located at NAST office will communicate and gather images of the geographical area of the country.
Dhungel said that the date for the tender of satellite communication system has almost been finished and the ground station will be set up before the satellite reaches its slot in the lower orbit.