Kathmandu, April 22
A commercial cargo spacecraft carrying NepaliSat-1, the country’s first satellite, has safely reached International Space Station located in the lower orbit of the earth.
The spacecraft, which was flown to space by Antares rocket, had reached the space station last Friday at 3:31pm local time. The spacecraft reached the station in 36 hours and 40 minutes after taking off from the flight facility in Virginia, USA.
Nepal Academy of Science and Technology informed this at a press meet organised today at its office in Lalitpur. Speaking with journalists Spokesperson for NAST Suresh Kumar Dhungel said the satellite would be released from the spacecraft into the lower orbit after one-and-a-half months.
NAST has claimed that it had invested Rs 20 million in the project. Two Nepali scientists — Aabhas Maskey and Hariram Shrestha, who are studying at Japanese Kyushu Institute of Technology — developed the satellite under the BIRDS project in collaboration with NAST.
NepaliSat-1 is a cube satellite that weighs 1.3 kg. Once released into its orbit, the satellite will revolve around the earth four times a day. The orbit lies around 400 kilometres away from the earth. The satellite is expected to take pictures of Nepal for six to 10 minutes during each revolution.
A version of this article appears in print on April 23, 2019 of The Himalayan Times.