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Viet Nam space institute to make small satellites

Viet Nam: Viet Nam expected to master the technology to manufacture small satellites by 2017, when the Hoa Lac national space centre project to build the first national space centre is scheduled for completion, according to Dr Pham Anh Tuan, Vice Chairman, Viet Nam Academy of Science and Technology’s Space Technology Institute.

The project was to be built with USD 400 million from Japanese official development assistance (ODA) on a 9ha site in the Hoa Lac Hi-Tech Park, 30km from central Ha Noi. Japanese experts would transfer technology and support to build the technical facilities and train staff. “The centre will be one of the most modern space centres in Southeast Asia, with advanced equipment being used in Japan and European countries,” said Tuan.

The first phase construction, including infrastructure, research facilities and the installation of satellite monitoring and operating equipment and data processing equipment, is scheduled for 2011-13. A satellite assembly and testing area and training area would follow in the second phase in 2014-18, giving Viet Nam the capacity to assemble satellites of less than 500kg.

Each such satellite would cost an estimated USD 20-30 million and would be able to provide data to monitor and forecast natural disasters and environmental damage, as well as forecast agricultural and fisheries output.

The data could help reduce losses caused each year by natural disasters by 10 per cent and save an estimated 750 lives, saving the Government over USD 1 billion annually, according to Tuan.

The satellite systems would also help update map systems for land use planning and management, support global positioning systems and monitor climate change.

Source: VNS