Vietnam’s Eye in Space

Vietnam-Control-CentreThe successful launch of Viet Nam’s first remote sensing satellite REDSat-1, marks a milestone in the development of the country’s space technology programme, according to Deputy Prime Minister Nguyen Thien Nhan.

With VNREDSat-1, Viet Nam can now independently process images of all regions belonging to the country’s territory, he said. Deputy PM Nhan was speaking at a ceremony yesterday at which the control of the satellite was handed over to the Viet Nam Academy of Science and Technology (VAST).

Astrium SAS was at the ceremony to sign off on the new space hardware.

VNREDSat-1 was sent into orbit by Ariane 5 on 7 May from Kourou, French Guiana.

Four months after its launch, the satellite is now under stable operation said Dr Bui Trong Tuyen, deputy director of the Institute of Space Technology and head of the Small Satellite Project Management Unit.

Nhan congratulated the VAST staff and scientists and their French partners on the successful launch of the satellite last May, saying that it has marked Viet Nam’s expansion into space applications.

As on September 1 the new satellite had recorded just over 9,000 images, of which nearly one thousand were of Vietnamese territory, he said.

In order to become proficient in the management of the satellite, 15 engineers from VAST visited France in 2011 to complete a specialized training course.

Designed by Astrium SAS, the satellite is capable of capturing images from all around the world and the resource will assist emergency services during flooding, forest fires, oil overflow or other serious incidents.

The majority of the funding was provided by the French government’s Official Development Assistance with EUR 55.8 million ($73.5 million) while Viet Nam contributed nearly VND65 billion (around $3.2 million) to the high-tech project.

Following fast on the success of two telecommunications satellites – Vinasat 1 in 2008 and Vinasat 2 in 2012 and now VNREDSat-1, a fourth ‘made-in-Viet Nam’ micro satellite, Pico Dragon, was shipped to the International Space Station on 4 August in preparation for its mission in space.

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