Vietnam plans $81 mln for third satellite

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Over 60 million euro (US$81.12 million) will be invested in Vietnam's third satellite expected to be launched in 2016, the VnExpress newswire quoted a local official as saying Friday.

According to Doan Minh Chung, chief of the Vietnam Space Technology Center, the 100-kilogram earth observation VNREDSat-1B will be produced by the Belgian-owned SpaceBel Group.

Chung said the project, which is funded by Official Development Assistance (ODA) from the Belgian government'and the local government's budget, began implementation four years ago.

The first earth observation satellite, VNREDSat-1A, is set to be launched in 2014, VnExpress reported. VNREDSat-1A weighs 150 kilograms and will take high- resolution photographs of natural resources, the environment and disasters.


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Early this week, Chung announced that Vietnam will start building its national space center this year end with a total investment of $600 million at the Hanoi-based Hoa Lac Hi-tech Park.

The country aims to master the technology of small earth observation satellites by 2020, and start producing them as of 2030, he added.

Vietnam launched its first-ever telecommunications satellite, Vinasat-1, in April 2008.

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