by Staff Writers
Hanoi, Vietnam (XNA) May 14, 2013
Vietnam plans to launch the second remote sensing satellite, VNREDSat-1B, into orbit by 2017, after successfully launching the first of this kind on May 7, local online VNExpress reported on Friday.
The report quoted a notice released on Thursday by the Embassy of Belgium in Vietnam as saying that Vietnam and Belgium had reached an agreement upon which Belgian companies under the auspices of Spacebel will manufacture the VNREDSat 1B, which will help monitor the natural resources, natural disasters, and improve management of the territory and main natural resources sources.
The VNREDSat-1B will be originated from a group of PROBA ( Project for On-Board Autonomy) satellites of the European Space Agency (ESA).
It will cost a total of over 60 million euros (78.2 million U.S. dollars) from Belgium's official development assistance (ODA) and the Vietnamese government's corresponding fund. The satellite has a weight of about 130 kg.
Vietnam's first remote sensing satellite VNREDSat-1 was launched into orbit, together with two other satellites -- a 140kg Proba-V satellite of the European Space Agency (ESA) to map vegetation cover, and a 1.3kg Estonian micro-satellite, ESTCube-1 to test an electric solar sail -- by Arianespace from the Guiana Space Center, French Guiana at 9:06 a.m. on May 7 (Hanoi time).
According to the Vietnam Academy of Science and Technology, the satellite successfully sent its first photos of Vietnam to the ground receiving station on May 9. The ground stations can connect with the satellite from two to four times per day through the satellite signal receiving and transmitting station located in Hanoi-based Hoa Lac Hi-Tech Park.
Vietnam becomes the fifth ASEAN nation to own a remote sensing satellite after Thailand, Indonesia, Malaysia and Singapore.
In 2008 and 2012, the country launched two telecommunication satellites, Vinasat-1 and Vinasat-2, both of which are operating on a geostationary orbit at an altitude of about 35,800 km.
Vietnam Space Technology Institute
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