|The LOTUSat-1 satellite will help predict severe weather and survey the resulting damage. — Photo vietnamnet.vn|
HÀ NỘI — The Vietnam National Space Center and Japan's NEC and Sumitomo Corp late last week signed a contract to develop the LOTUSat-1 satellite that will help predict severe weather and survey the resulting damage.
NEC will design, manufacture and train Vietnamese staff at a satellite making facility in Japan, then transfer the technology to Việt Nam.
The satellite order is estimated at more than 20 billion yen (US$184 million). Most of the funding will be provided by the Japan International Cooperation Agency.
The LOTUSat-1 satellite, which weighs roughly 570kg, contains control systems and other core components that can be mass-produced. The satellite will be able to detect objects with widths of a metre wide on earth. It will gather information expected to help minimise the impacts of natural disasters such as storms that hit Việt Nam every year.
It is expected LOTUSat-1, which is smaller than other satellites with comparable capabilities and comes in at about a fifth of the price, will be launched as soon as 2023.
Việt Nam plans to launch a second satellite, the contract for which NEC and trading house Sumitomo will also pursue. — VNS