Vietnam to build space center

Updated: 2011-11-16 22:14:00

(Xinhua)

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HANOI, November 16 (Xinhua) -- Vietnam announced on Wednesday it will spend over 600 million U.S. dollars on building a space center by 2018.

Under the plan, the Vietnam Space Center, which covers an area of nine hectares at Hoa Lac High-tech Park in Hanoi, will specialize in researching and producing small satellites to be used in domestic weather forecast, geodesy, exploration, radio- television broadcast and rescue.

The project will be implemented by the Vietnam Academy of Science and Technology (VAST) with design and construction support from Japan, said Dr. Doan Minh Chung, director of the Space Technology Institute (STI).

When the project is completed, Vietnam will own the most advanced space science and technology research and training center in Southeast Asia. The country is expected to reduce 10 percent of damages caused by natural disasters, and is able to design and produce small satellites for the earth observance.

Vietnam and Japan have potential for long-term cooperation in remote sensing and application and development of small satellites, said Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) Director Tetsuo Tanaka at the celebration of the 5th anniversary of STI.

As a leading unit in research and development of space technology in Vietnam, over the past five years STI has actively cooperated in Japan-funded projects in space technology development.

The institute sets targets -- by 2020 it will master small satellite technology used in earth observance and by 2030 it can design and produce small satellites.