Japan to aid Vietnam space projects: report

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The Japanese government has decided to loan Vietnam roughly 40 billion yen (US$479 million) to support its space exploration program, a Japanese newspaper reported, on Friday.

The official development assistance (ODA) loans will be spent on three projects an Earth-based space center, two observation satellites, and the training of engineers, The Yomiuri Shimbun said.

The final details will be announced later this month. Japanese contractors are expected to be awarded all three projects.

The space center will be built in Hanoi's Hoa Lac High-Tech Park. It includes a testing facility for satellite assembly as well as a satellite operation and data-analysis center.

One of the two Earth observation satellites will be manufactured in Japan.

The other will be made in Vietnam. Production is expected to commence around 2019. Japan will send components and engineers to Vietnam for a planned launch in 2020, according to The Yomiuri Shimbun.

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