KATHMANDU, April 18: Prime Minister K P Sharma Oli has said that Nepal has entered the space era after Nepal launched its first ever satellite on Thursday morning.
NepaliSat-1 was launched from mid-Atlantic Regional Spaceport at NASA’s Wallops Flight Facility on Virginia’s Eastern Shore, the United States at 2:31 NST (4.46 pm ETD). The satellite was developed by the Nepali scientists Aabhas Maskey and Hariram Shrestha, under the BIRDS 3 project of Japanese Kyushu Institute of Technology.
Prime Minister Oli congratulated the scientists stating that the development and launching of the satellite have enhanced the prestige of the country.
“Though a humble beginning, with the launching of NepaliSat-1, Nepal has entered the Space-Era. I wish to congratulate all those scientists and institutions that were involved right from the development to its launching thereby enhancing the prestige of our country,” PM Oli tweeted.
The satellite, with a Nepali flag and Nepal Academy of Science and Technology (NAST) logo printed on it and weighing around 1.3 kilograms, will be kept at the International Space Station for a month before sending to the orbit, according to NAST.
The satellite has been carried into the International Space Station as a cargo. The BIRDS 3, a project led by Kyushu in Japan and involves students from Sri Lanka, Bhutan, Nepal and Japan, also has Srilanka’s Ravana-1, Japan’s Uguisu.
The Joint Global Multi-Nation Birds Satellite project (BIRDS) is a cross-border interdisciplinary satellite project. for non-space faring countries supported by Japan.
NepaliSat-1 is a lower orbit satellite and will be in the 400 km distance from the Earth surface. NAST has invested Rs 20 million to develop the satellite.
According to NAST authorities, NepaliSat-1 will be sharing data among the nations involved in the BIRDS mission.