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Aero India 2023

Japanese students' mini satellites missing in space

A prototype of satellite 'Negai' build by the students of Soka University. Photo: JAXA

TOKYO (KYODO): The location of three out of four mini satellites developed by Japanese students and launched by a rocket carrying a planetary probe last week, are unknown, officials at Science Ministry has said.

Aerospace Development Committee officials said on Wednesday that only Soka University students are able to receive radio signals from their satellite 'Negai' which was delivered into space on Friday along with Venus probe Akatsuki and three other satellites developed by universities and technical college students.

Kagoshima University received radio signals shortly after the launch of KSAT satellite but was unable to confirm whether it came from same satellite. The university has had no contact with the satellite since then.

A group of students from 22 universities and technical colleges across Japan has jointly developed Shin-en satellite. After the satellites were launched the students detected signals only once before losing the contact with it.

Waseda University has only detected very weak signals and found it difficult to confirm whether its satellite WASEDASAT2 is in orbit.

As part of experiments in the country's space development programme, the satellites were launched along with Akatsuki and a "space yacht" Ikaros, which will be propelled using radiation from sunlight, on an H-2A rocket from the Tanegashima Space Center in Kagoshima Prefecture.

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