Nepal realizes its dream of having its own satellite by launching the first satellite into space. The first satellite named NepaliSat-1 was launched in the early morning (2:31 am) of Baishak 5, 2076 (April 18, 2019). As per the US time, the launching date is April 17, 2019.
CygnusNG11 mission launches the NepaliSat-1, operated by NASA in Virginia, USA. It will be carried to the International space station (ISS) as a cargo. Nepali Scientists who are studying in Kyutech (Japanese Kyushu Institute of Technology) made the first satellite of Nepal. They are Mr. Aabhas Maskey and Mr. Hariram Shrestha.
Nepal Academy of Science and Technology (NAST) has initiated the launch of Nepal’s first satellite under the BIRDS project of Kyutech, Japan.
There are three satellites for three different countries under the project Birds3 satellite project. Other satellites are Srilanka’s Ravana-1, Japan’s Uguisu. All of them are nanosatellites and weigh around 1 kg.
NAST invested around 20 million rupees for NepaliSat-1 of size 1.3 kg. It is a small satellite and has limited capability. But Nepal’s first entry into space has brought a huge excitement in people and Scientists.
NepaliSat-1 is a low orbit satellite which will be in the 400 km distance from the Earth surface. It will first remain in the space for further tests and ultimately sent to the low orbit.
The satellite will take photographs on a regular basis to gather geographical information of the country.
The Small satellite has a Nepali flag and the NAST logo. It also has the name of the scientists involved in the making of the Satellite.
As it will take some time to come to the orbit, NAST has some time to build a ground station or Earth station to communicate with the satellite. The tentative time to build the earth station is around 1 month after receiving the equipment.
PM KP Sharma Oli has congratulated all the Scientists and institutions involved in the development of the Satellite. He also mentioned it is also a matter of prestige for the country to have its own satellite.
There is a separate Satellite Project under the coordination of MoCIT. For which, Nepal Gov and Thales Alenia Space, France had signed an MOU for launching its own satellite.