|Mission type||Technology demonstration|
|BOL mass||1.11 kg (2.4 lb)|
|Dimensions||10 x 10 x 11.35 cm|
|Start of mission|
|Launch date||09:42, June 29, 2018 (UTC)|
|Rocket||Falcon 9 Full Thrust|
|Launch site||Cape Canaveral SLC-40|
|Deployment date||August 2018|
BHUTAN-1 was designed and developed by Bhutanese graduate students who were pursuing their master's degree at the Kyushu Institute of Technology (Kyutech) of Japan. The satellite is developed under the Kyutech-led second Joint Global Multination Birds Project (Birds-2).
The two other satellites developed under Birds-2; UiTMSAT-1 of Malaysia and Maya-1 of the Philippines. The first iteration of the project (Birds-1) was a joint effort by Bangladesh, Ghana, Japan, Mongolia, and Nigeria.
In 2016, Bhutanese Prime Minister Tshering Tobgay mentioned plans to set up a space agency with Bhutan's Information and Communications Ministry. According to Tobgay, plans to launch the first Bhutanese satellite to space came from Bhutanese King Jigme Khesar Namgyel Wangchuck.
The Birds-2 project commenced in November 2016. BHUTAN-1 is classified as a 1U CubeSat and measures 10 x 10 x 11.35 cm and weighs 1.11 kg (2.4 lb). The satellite was developed and designed by a team of four Bhutanese engineers namely: Yeshey Choden, Kiran Kumar Pradhan, Cheki Dorji and Pooja Lepcha. They are pursuing a two-year master's degree in space engineering at the Kyushu Institute of Technology and the satellite project is part of their master's program.
The designing and testing of the design of BHUTAN-1 began by March 2017. The functions of each sub-system of the satellite was verified before the first Engineering Model (EM-1) of BHUTAN-1 was built on June of the same year. By October 2017, EM-2 was accomplished and the development of the Flight Module (FM) commenced.
Launch and mission
BHUTAN-1 was launched to space on June 29, 2018 via the Falcon 9 Full Thrust rocket at Cape Canaveral in Florida, United States as part of the SpaceX CRS-15 Commercial Resupply Service mission. Maya-1 and UiTMSAT-1 which were also developed under the Birds-2 project was also among the payload of the rocket. BHUTAN-1 is scheduled to be deployed from the International Space Station in August 2018.
The satellite will operate at the altitude of 500 to 1,500 kilometres (310 to 930 mi) and will pass above Bhutan for three to four minutes four to five times a day. Its lifespan is projected to be six to nine months though reportedly it can last up to two years. BHUTAN-1's two cameras will be used to capture satellite imagery of Bhutan to help assess the country's glaciers, lakes, and forest cover. It will also provide basic communication services and will also be used to study radiation effects on satellites in general. While BHUTAN-1 was built solely by the Bhutanese, the satellite will be jointly controlled an operated by the Bhutan, Malaysia and the Philippines.
BHUTAN-1 will be tracked from the ground station operated by Bhutan's Information and Communications Ministry after the satellite becomes operational.
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- "BHUTAN-1 expected to be in space by May". Kuensel. 1 February 2018. Retrieved 4 July 2018.
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