Vietnam to launch home-made satellites for earth observation

By Toan Dao   October 13, 2016 | 07:27 pm PT
Vietnam to launch home-made satellites for earth observation
Japan's HTV-4 cargo spacecraft was launched into space, carrying Vietnam’s micro satellite PicoDragon in 2013. Photo from Vietnam Academy of Science and Technology
The country is working closely with Japan on its plan for four new satellites.

Vietnam plans to launch four earth observation satellites in the coming years, most of which will be manufactured in the country, the government said in a post on its website on Thursday.

The Vietnam National Satellite Center (VNSC) plans to use a Japan’s Epsilon missile to bring MicroDragon, a 50-kilogram satellite, into orbit in early 2018.

The satellite is developed by VNSC researchers under instruction of professors from a group of Japanese universities. The main missions of MicroDragon are assessing coastal water quality to develop aquaculture and locating living resources.

VNSC is scheduled to launch the NanoDragon, weighing six kilograms, in 2019. The earth observation satellite will be in charge of providing support for an automatic system for identifying sea vessels and monitoring of fishing boats.

Two other radar earth observation satellites, the LOTUSat-1 and 2, about 600 kg in weight each, are set to be launched by 2022, the government said. The LOTUSat-1 will be manufactured by Japan with Vietnam's assistance. The other will be manufactured by Vietnamese engineers.

The first remote sensing made-in-Vietnam satellite, the PicoDragon, was successfully launched into space in 2013. The design, manufacturing and test of the earth observation satellite were all done by Vietnam.

Vietnam’s first telecom satellite VINASAT-1 was put into orbit in 2008 and the second telecom satellite VINASAT-2 in 2012. Both are invested by the state-owned group Vietnam Posts and Telecommunications  (VNPT).

VNSC has sent 36 young engineers to study satellite technology in Japan and established cooperation in training with five Japanese universities.

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Japan to build satellite for Vietnam’s climate observation

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