A national space centre will be built at an investment of over 600 million USD and is expected to be completed in 2018.

The information was announced by Dr. Doan Minh Chung, Director of the Space Technology Institute (STI) under the Vietnam Academy of Science and Technology, at a ceremony in Hanoi on Nov. 16 to mark the STI’s fifth anniversary.

Covering an area of nine hectares in Hoa Lac High-tech Park , about 30 km from Hanoi , the centre will function as a hub for research and production of small satellites to meet local demand for weather forecasting, research and disaster management.

The Vietnamese Government has assigned the Vietnam Academy of Science and Technology to implement the project with support from Japanese designers and technicians.

As a result, the Vietnam Satellite Centre was established to oversee and implement the project.

The STI has partnered with Japan ’s Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) to carry out three major tasks in human resource development, developing technical infrastructure and modern facilities, plus transferring technologies to allow the launch of two small satellites equipped with radar sensors for earth observation.

Once completed, Vietnam will boast the most modern space science facility in Southeast Asia and expects to reduce natural disaster damages by 10 per cent.

The project also enables the country to design and create small satellites with high resolution imaging for earth observation.

Tetsuo Tanaka, Director of JAXA’s International Cooperation Department described Vietnam and Japan as two countries holding great potential for long-term cooperation in remote sensing, the application and development of small satellite technology, and building research capacity./.