Vietnam, NASA ink joint-statement on cooperation

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The Vietnam Academy of Science and Technology and the US National Aeronautics and Space Administration on Monday signed a joint-statement to cooperate on civil space and aviation activities, VnExpress reported.

The agreement, which was signed after two years of negotiations, addresses space technology's applications in social development, responses to natural disasters and climate change, according to the newswire.

Exchanges of space observation data, human resources development and programs to educate Vietnamese youth about space technology applications are also included, the newswire added.

Professor Chau Van Minh, chairman of VAST, said based on the joint-statement, the agencies will launch detailed cooperation programs.

Vietnam is the 122nd country to sign such a joint-statement with NASA, he added.

Minh said because space matters are universal, not belonging to any country or region alone, Vietnam and NASA have an "interactive relationship" to cooperate and support in data exchanges to help NASA issue warnings about climate change for regions around the world, and as accurately as possible.

Pham Anh Tuan, director of Vietnam National Space Center, also said in VnExpress that signing the agreement with NASA means that Vietnam will join global space programs.

Vietnam is in need of global information about space, considering that its government approved a national space program just five years ago, while NASA has led the world's space industry for more than 50 years, Tuan added.

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Meanwhile, NASA's representative said the US agency is willing to share information with Vietnamese scientists so the latter can apply it toward scientific activities and developing its economy and society, VnExpress reported.

The news agency quoted Michael F. O'Brien, who is in charge of NASA external relations, as saying that the under the joint-statement, his agency will help Vietnam access space technologies to control natural disasters such as tsunamis, landslides and sea environment pollution, especially cooperation in human resources training.

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