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France to finance Vietnam’s second satellite project

(Jan 2009) VietNamNet Bridge – Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung, agreed that France would be the provider of technology and official development assistance (ODA) for the natural resources, environment and disaster monitoring small satellite (VNREADSat-1), Vietnam’s second satellite after Vinasat-1.

The prime minister assigned the Institute for Science and Technology of Vietnam to develop this project, which aims to serve the strategy on research and application of space technology to 2020.

The Ministry of Planning and Investment is responsible for formalities related to French ODA for this project.

VNREDSat-1 is a small-sized earth observation satellite, a proposed 150 kilogrammes in weight with a five-year life expectancy. The satellite is scheduled to be operational in 2012 and will be used to help Vietnam map its natural resources and provide information about the environment and disasters.

National Space Science and Technology Research Programme Chairman Nguyen Khoa Son said the project would cost an estimated US$100 million and help free Vietnam from reliance on satellite images provided by other countries.

The VNREDSat-1 project was initiated five years ago when Vietnam cooperated with a UK-owned space organisation to study the country’s capacity to launch a small earth observation satellite, the paper said.

Vietnam’s first satellite, VINASAT-1, was launched in April to improve telecommunications services, Internet and TV broadcasts to the country’s most remote areas. The $200 million satellite’s footprint extends over southeast and east Asia, India and Hawaii.

(Source: VNE/TN)