Vietnam to launch first homebuilt radar satellites into space

By VnExpress   December 19, 2016 | 01:33 am PT
The two satellites will enable more accurate prediction of natural disasters, especially in the context of climate change.

Vietnam is set to launch two radar satellites in 2019 and 2022 to assist in predicting and preparing for weather and climate extremes.

The two satellites, LOTUSat-1 and LOTUSat-2, are the first employing the high-resolution technology to capture images in various weather conditions.

The 600-kilogram satellites are part of the country’s most ambitious science and technology project ever developed by the Vietnam National Satellites Center with an investment of $600 million.

The satellites, with an orbital lifetime of five years, can capture images of objects on earth as small as one meter in size.

The Vietnamese government has paid more attention to natural disaster management in recent years in the face of climate change. Accurate data from LOTUSat-1 and LOTUSat-2 will help develop an effective weather forecasting tool and provide maps to guide disaster response.

The fishery industry will also benefit from the two satellites, which can keep track of fish migration, said Pham Anh Tuan, director of the Vietnam National Satellites Center.

The Japan International Cooperation Agency estimated that the satellites, after being launched, will spare Vietnam’s agriculture sector a heavy loss of up to $150 million per year caused by adverse weather conditions.

Vietnam, ranked average among Southeast Asian neighbors in terms of space technology, has never managed to build a radar satellite before, said Tuan.

LOTUSat-1 and LOTUSat-2 will hold a lot of significance to Vietnam’s space program, he said.

Related news:

Vietnam to open National Space Museum in 2017 

Japan to build satellite for Vietnam’s climate observation

Vietnam's Mekong Delta to receive nearly $400 million to combat climate change

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