Vietnam’s first remote sensing satellite, VNREDSat-1, marks a milestone in the development of the country’s space technology, Deputy Prime Minister Nguyen Thien Nhan has said.

Deputy PM Nhan was speaking at a ceremony in Hanoi on September 4 during which Astrium SAS, an affiliate of the European Aeronautic Defence and Space Company, handed over the control of the satellite to the Vietnam Academy of Science and Technology (VAST).

The Deputy PM congratulated the VAST staff and scientists and their French partners on the successful launch of the satellite in last May, saying that it has marked Vietnam ’s boundary in space.

With VNREDSat-1, Vietnam has fully mastered the small satellite technology, thus independently processing images of all regions belonging to the country’s territory, he noted.

Dr. Bui Trong Tuyen, deputy director of the Institute of Space Technology and head of the Small Satellite Project Management Unit, said after more than three months of being launched into orbit, the satellite has come into stable operation.

By September 1, VNREDSat-1 has captured and processed a total of 9,271 images, of which 999 featured Vietnamese land, he said.

VNREDSat-1 was launched into orbit on May 7 this year from the Kourou launch pad, Guiana, France.

In order to serve the operation of the satellite, 15 young engineers of the VAST were trained in France from August 2011 to July this year.

Designed by Astrium SAS, the satellite is capable of capturing images of all areas in the world and it is expected to assist efforts to deal with flooding, forest fire, oil overflow and other incidents quickly and effectively.

The project has a total investment of 55.8 million EUR sourced by the French government's Official Development Assistance and the Vietnamese side's contribution of nearly 65 billion VND (around 3.2 million USD).

Following the success of two telecommunications satellites - Vinasat 1 in 2008 and Vinasat 2 in 2012 and the first remote sensing satellite, VNREDSat-1, made-in-Vietnam micro satellite, Pico Dragon, was shipped to the International Space Station (ISS) on August 4 to prepare for a mission in space.-VNA