NTU successfully launches Singapore’s first student-built satellite


Singapore now has a second satellite, both built by Nanyang Technological University (NTU), orbiting in space.
Wholly designed and built by NTU students, this latest satellite lifted off on board Russia’s RS-20B rocket (Dnepr) at 3:10pm, Singapore time (7:10am Co-ordinated Universal Time, UTC) on Thursday, 21 November 2013. All systems are functioning well.
Launched from the Yasny Launch Base located in the Orenburg Region, Russia, the VELOX-PII is NTU’s second satellite in space. Singapore’s first locally-built satellite, the X-SAT, developed by NTU and DSO National Laboratories, was launched into space on 20 April 2011.
NTU has also built a new ground station on campus to control and monitor VELOX-PII for the next 12 months of its operating life. NTU’s ground station has successfully contacted the satellite on Thursday, 21 November 2013 from 10:41pm to 10:54pm, Singapore time. In addition, VELOX-PII successfully transmitted data to NTU’s ground station on Friday, 22 November 2013 from 12:18am to 12:30am, Singapore, indicating that the satellite is now fully operational.
The VELOX-PII, classified as a pico-satellite (a satellite that weighs around 1 kg), is now soaring some 600 kilometres above Earth, on an orbital plane that has a fixed orientation with the sun or what is known as a sun-synchronous low-Earth-orbit.
The 1.33 kg VELOX-PII is developed under NTU’s Undergraduate Satellite Programme, a multi-disciplinary hands-on space project for students. The objective is to train highly-skilled engineers to support Singapore’s space industry.
NTU President, Professor Bertil Andersson, said: “I am pleased that our engineering students have done us proud with the successful launch of VELOX-PII. This proves that they have the aptitude and attitude to successfully apply what they have learnt in the sophisticated area of satellite-building. It is also a fantastic showcase of NTU’s strengths in research and engineering which augurs well for the future of Singapore’s aerospace and space industry.