(Learn how and when to remove this template message)
Mission typeTechnology
OperatorVietnam National Satellite Center
SATCAT no.39413Edit this on Wikidata
Website[1] Website of VNSC about Pico Dragon
Mission durationSuccess and operation in 3 month in the space
Spacecraft properties
Spacecraft type1U Cubesat
Launch mass1 kilogram (2.2 lb)
Start of mission
Launch date2:48 6/8/2013 UTC+7
Launch siteTanegashima
Deployed fromISS
Orbital parameters
Reference systemGeocentric
RegimeLow Earth
Inclination51.6 degrees

PicoDragon is a small satellite that followed the 1U type of CubeSat program built by Vietnam National Satellite Center belong to VAST and operated in space for 3 months.

It was the first product to be built in Vietnam in the space technology field. The target for this project is to co-operate in space technology development between Vietnam and Japan. It is also the first Vietnamese satellite to launch successfully to space. Before, there had been 4 satellites launched including: VNREDSat 1A, F-1, Vinasat-1 and Vinasat-2 but F-1 which failed when launching. Vinasat-1, Vinasat-2, VNREDSat 1A were all built by foreign partners or companies.


  • Size: 10 × 10 × 11,35 cm
  • Weight: 0.983 kg
  • Time operating: About 3 months
  • Orbit
 * High: 410 km
 * Inclination: 51.6 degrees
  • Senses devices:
 * CMOS camera (640 × 480 dpi) to take picture about Earth
  • Contact by wireless link
 * Broadcast station frequency about 437.250 MHz
 * Telemetry downlink 1k2 bit/s AFSK 800 mW AX.25 about 437.365 MHz
 * Very high frequency uplink use for control.


2:48 AM (Vietnamese time zone) 4 August 2013, PicoDragon followed by ArduSat-1, ArduSat-X, TechEdSat-3 of USA and Kirobo robot of Japan were launched at Tanegashima by Kounotori of Japan. Before the launch into orbit to operate by ISS, it was held back to check.

19 November 2013 (Vietnamese time zone) PicoDragon was launch into orbit by ISS. 4 hours later, some first signals were successfully received by the ground station in Japan. After that, the ground station of VNSC also received signals from PicoDragon. Before, 4 August, PicoDragon was successfully launch into ISS through the transport spacecraft HTV-4 of Japan. After more than 3 months in the orbit, PicoDragon completed the mission but burned when it entered the atmosphere.


Follow doctor Pham Anh Tuan, director of Vietnam National Satellite Center, after PicoDragon, Vietnam will build more satellites (10 kg in 2015 and 50 kg in 2017) and in 2020 will launch a 500 kg satellite to observing the Earth from space.


HTV4 (KOUNOTORI 4) Mission Press Kit

Pico Dragon

PicoDragon completed its mission (Vietnamese)

Gunter Krebs (3 August 2013). "PicoDragon". Gunter's Space Page. Retrieved 4 August 2013. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)

External links

  • PicoDragon - Vietnam National Satellite Center