[DOCUMENTATION] NAST VC BIRDS-3 Satellite Project Keynote Speech Transcript + Video

Vice Chancellor of NAST, Dr. Shrestha, gives his speech at BIRDS-3 Press Conference on Feb 15, 2019 

Dr. Sunil Babu Shrestha, the newly appointed Vice Chancellor of Nepal Academy of Science and Technology, the apex independent body for development of S&T in the Nepal, was at Kyushu Institute of Technology to attend the BIRDS-3 Satellite Project Press Conference held at the premises on February 15, 2019. The transcript of his speech for the event have been documented below. A video with Japanese translation has also been included.


Dr. Shrestha's speech begins at 17:39


The President of Kyushu Institute of Technology (Kyutech), Prof. Yuji Oie, 
Principal Investigator of BIRDS Project, Prof. Mengu Cho, 
[Distinguished Delegates from Sri Lanka and other countries,]
Faculties and Members of Staff of Kyutech,
BIRDS-3 project members,
Media Personnel,
Ladies and Gentlemen,

Good Afternoon!

I am very happy to participate in this significant event on behalf of Nepal Academy of Science and Technology (NAST) and the Government of Nepal. Nepal has been able to participate in the BIRDS-3 project as a result of several rounds of interactive discussions among the different stakeholders including concerned Ministries of Government of Nepal. The proposal put forward by Kyutech for the participation of Nepal in BIRDS-3 project was finally accepted with consensus and NAST became executing body on behalf of Nepal. Though small in size, constructing and launching a satellite of its own for the first time, is a big step for Nepal. 

At this point of time, I believe that we are at the verge of accomplishing the mission. Hence, I would like to congratulate and thank everyone including two Nepalese fellows who contributed in every way possible to bring this mission to this stage. I am grateful to the Kyutech family for hosting the project. I wish for the successful launch of the satellites in April and their functioning, before which, we will have prepared a ground station at NAST. 

Conference was covered by the local media in Japan

NepaliSat-1 will mark the Nepal’s first entry into space. The name was carefully chosen to reflect our first entry into space mission. We dedicate this to the people and Government of Nepal.  The name of the satellite, Nepalisat-1 is expected to encourage us to launch more satellites in series in the days to come for which we will seek support from Kyutech as well as from the Government of Japan. The success of this mission will be instrumental for our future move in this direction. 

Launching and operating the satellite is just the first step towards capacity building for Nepal. We are fully aware that only limited amount of useful data can be mined from a 1U CubeSat. On this occasion, I want to express my deep gratitude to predecessor Vice Chancellor of NAST, Prof. Jiba Raj Pokharel for his initiative to participate in the BIRDS-3 project by visiting Kyutech and signing on the MoU. 

President of Kyutech, Prof. Oie presents replica of BIRDS-3 Satellite to VC of NAST

This is largely a symbolic gesture of the government of Nepal to invest more on STEM education. I recall that Mt. Manaslu, as an iconic landmark, had embolden the Japanese professionals and administrators for their prosperity in the past whereas I believe that this satellite will remain as an inspiring landmark of collaboration for us to enter into space era. 

The peak of Mt. Everest in Nepal is closest point of earth from space. Also, the Pyramid Laboratory situated in Nepal at the altitude of 5050 m above the sea level can also be another suitable station for Space Research.  In order to materialize this, we need global collaboration and support for which, I believe, Japan will be in the center stage as always. 

As the newly appointed Vice Chancellor of the apex body of the Science and Technology of the country, NAST, and a PhD graduate of Japanese University, I urge Japanese Government in general and Kyutech in particular for better cooperation and collaboration with us in our Scientific and Technological endeavors.   

Finally, I thank you all for your warm hospitality and excellent arrangements to make this event a grand success. 

Thank you. 

Pyramid Observatory at 5050m in Nepal
Image Credit [HERE]