NTU's X-SAT satellite to mark 3 years in space on Sunday

NTU's X-SAT satellite to mark 3 years in space on Sunday
This image was among the first few captured by X-SAT, the first Singapore-made micro-satellite that was blasted into space on April 20, 2011.

SINGAPORE - Singapore's first locally-built satellite has travelled nearly 700 million kilometres, taken 8,000 photographs and completed 4,400 successful telecommands while orbiting Earth.

All this was achieved while surviving several solar storms, hazardous radiation and more than 30 near-collisions with space debris.

The X-SAT satellite will mark three years in space this Sunday. The 105kg micro-satellite, developed by Nanyang Technological University (NTU) and DSO National Laboratories, was launched into space on April 20, 2011 on a three-year mission.

Director of NTU's Satellite Research Centre, Associate Professor Low Kay Soon, says the fully functioning X-SAT is a technological achievement which attests to the quality of NTU's engineering expertise.

"X-SAT's report card is impressive. As Singapore's first locally-built satellite, it has been performing admirably, exceeding our expectations over the past three years, which was its designed mission lifespan." Prof Low said.

NTU is also the first university in Singapore to have a satellite programme for undergraduates.

In addition to X-SAT, NTU also has another satellite orbiting the earth which was launched on November 21 last year. Named the VELOX-PII, it is designed, built and tested by undergraduate students.

This year, the university is set to launch another two student-built satellites, a 4.5kg nano-satellite named VELOX-I and a pico-satellite which "piggybacks" on it and will separate after launch.

NTU has also embarked on building a weather satellite named the VELOX-CI and a core team from the X-SAT programme is working on Singapore's first commercial remote sensing satellite, TeLEOS-1.

Both TeLEOS-1 and VELOX-CI are slated for launch by late 2015.


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