NTU launches first student-run satellite under programme to train space engineers

The VELOX-PII, NTU's first student-built satellite, launched last Thursday, Nov 21, 2013, from the Yasny Launch Base in Orenburg, Russia. It is now orbiting some 600km above Earth. -- PHOTO: NTU
The VELOX-PII, NTU's first student-built satellite, launched last Thursday, Nov 21, 2013, from the Yasny Launch Base in Orenburg, Russia. It is now orbiting some 600km above Earth. -- PHOTO: NTU

The Nanyang Technological University (NTU) has launched its first student-built satellite under a programme to train engineers for Singapore's space industry.

Built by a group of undergraduate engineering students, the 1.33kg-heavy VELOX-PII lifted off on a rocket launched in Russia last Thursday. It is fully solar-powered and will be used as a testbed for future satellite technology.

Tests on Nov 21 indicated that the satellite is fully functional. NTU launched its first satellite, the X-SAT, which was built in conjunction with DSO Laboratories in April 2011. It hopes to launch one more satellite next year, and to complete three more by 2015.

"Our pipeline of bigger projects will train our future students ... and realise Singapore's ambitions to make a global mark in the space industry," said Associate Professor Low Kay-Soon, director of NTU's Satellite Research Centre, who mentored the projects.