Vietnam's first remote sensing satellite model completed

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Vietnamese engineers have completed the technical model of the country's first remote sensing satellite, a local newswire reported Tuesday.

The Pico-Dragon satellite is expected to be launched between 2010 and 2011 along with other countries, Pham Anh Tuan - deputy head of Space Technology Institute (STI) told Vietnamnet.

The launching of the satellite, whose functions include taking high-resolution photographs of natural resources, aiding weather forecasts and monitoring phenomenon like storms, will be a test of Vietnam's ability to make its own satellites, Tuan said.

Made by STI in cooperation with Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency, Pico-Dragon weighs less than two kilograms with 10x10x10 centimeter dimensions and will have a life expectancy of around six months old, the newswire said

The VND600-million (US$33,645)-plus satellite will be displayed at the Techmart Vietnam ASEAN+3 show on September 17-19 in Hanoi.

With the participation of ten Southeast Asian countries along with Japan, China and South Korea, the event will showcase nearly 3,000 new technologies and devices.

Vietnam launched its first satellite, VINASAT-1, in April 2008 to improve telecommunication services, Internet and TV broadcasts in the country's most remote areas.

The second satellite is expected to be launched by 2012 under a US$290-350 million project.

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