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Nepal to Work With Japan to Launch Micro-Satellites

A Tricom-1R microsatellite being readied for launch by an SS-520 rocket. (Photo courtesy of Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency)

Nepal is going to collaborate along with more than 20 countries in a Japanese project to launch about 20 microsatellites over the next three years, reports Asian Review.

The Details:

  • The plan by a team from the University of Tokyo plans to launch the satellites to supplement telecommunications infrastructure.
  • The project will help Nepal and other emerging countries get into space and perhaps spur future demand for satellites and related services.
  • It will supplement existing telecommunications infrastructure, facilitating measurement of water levels and temperatures from sensors installed in rivers, farmland and other locations.
  • The information from the satellites can be used to monitor floods and other changes in the environment.
  • In an early February test, the team used an SS-520 rocket from the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency to launch a Tricom-1R microsatellite, known as “Tasuki,” into orbit.

Why it matters:

  • These microsatellites will only be 3 Kg that is less than one thousandth the weight of a conventional satellite. It is comparatively inexpensive and has a relatively short development time of one or two years.
  • The inexpensive satellites could prompt emerging countries to buy their own and motivate them to begin space efforts.

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