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Satellite guards the nation

Update: September, 05/2013 - 09:16
The Satellite Control and Operation Station in Ha Noi's Que Duong Village. The nation has now mastered small satellite technology. — VNA/VNS Photo Minh Tu

HA NOI (VNS)— The successful launch of Viet Nam's first remote sensingnation 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, an affiliate of the European Aeronautic Defence and Space Company, was at the ceremony to sign off on the new space hardware.

VNREDSat-1 was sent into orbit on May 7 from a launch pad in Kourou, French Guiana.

Four months since 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 boundary in space.

As at September 1 the new satellite snapped and recorded just over nine thousand images, of which nearly one thousand were of Vietnamese territory, he said.

In order to become expert operators in the management of the satellite, fifteen engineers from VAST left for 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. 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 EUR55.8 million (US$73.5 million) while Viet Nam contributed nearly VND65 billion (around US$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 August 4 in preparation for a mission in space. — VNS

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