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Singapore launches its first nano-satellite

Staff writer |
Singapore launched its first nano-satellite VELOX-I using an Indian space rocket, according to a report by Channel NewsAsia.

The satellite, which weighs just 4.28 kilograms, is equipped with a camera sensor that is radiation-resistant, and extendable lenses to take higher-resolution photographs from space. Its inventors are students and researchers from Nanyang Technological University's Satellite Research Centre.

"We actually put in a lot of new components and new sensors. These, if proven, can eventually be used for other satellites, big satellites for commercial application," Low Kay Soon, director of the centre said. "We hope that this will actually benefit Singapore's space industry in the long term."

One highlight is that VELOX-I carries another smaller satellite, named VELOX-PIII, which will separate from it in the next three months. With the two, the university has launched four satellites in total. It hopes to give students more experiences and nurture a pool of talent for the satellite industry.

"As an engineer myself, I believe that building a satellite is something very very challenging," said NTU student Lau Zi Rui. "So if we are able to build a satellite, as my Professor always says, we can actually build many other stuff."

The university is now building Singapore's first weather satellite, which is funded by the Economic Development Board for tropical climate studies. And according to "Lianhe Zaobao", the university plans to launch another three satellites by the end of 2015, which will bring the total number of the university's satellites to seven.

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