Japan to launch Vietnam microsatellite

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Scientists do final checks on Pico Dragon before its launch by a Japanese rocket on August 4

Japanese launch vehicle Kounotori4 will launch a Vietnamese imaging and communications microsatellite into space on August 4.

Pico Dragon, measuring just a few centimeters across and weighing around a kilogram, will first be sent to the International Space Station (ISS), where it will remain for three months before being placed in orbit.

It was made by the Vietnam National Satellite Center to capture images of the earth and conduct communication experiments using amateur radio devices.

It will be launched along with two US microsatellites.

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In October last year another small satellite developed by Vietnam's FPT University, the F-1, was also put into orbit after being at the ISS for around three months.

But earth stations have lost contact with Vietnam's first indigenous satellite.

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