Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam, 21 February 2007 – Vietnam plans to harness space technology by building its own remote sensing satellites in the next decade, a top space official has said.
Doan Minh Chung, Deputy Director of the Space Technology Institute (STI), said Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung had recently approved a programme for space technology research and applications that will last until 2020.
The programme is designed to assist the country’s economic growth by making space technology an important industry in the next decade, and to use that industry to survey natural resources and the environment, and to monitor natural hazards.
The STI will be responsible for the design and manufacture of small satellites. It plans to launch the first small remote sensing satellite by 2010. It will weigh over 100kg and orbit at 800 kilometers, according to Chung.
“The satellites will help us obtain information on land, water, climate and natural resources. With that we can better appraise the country’s natural wealth, and the threat of forest fires, earthquakes and tsunamis,” said Chung.
“We have been spending a lot of money to buy this information from abroad because of not having remote sensing systems of our own.”
The institute would also build ground stations to collect and process images transmitted from satellites, and look to co-operative efforts with those countries having developed space technology industries.