France helps with satellite project

Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung had approved the selection of France as the supplier of technology and official development aid (ODA) for the VNREDSat-1 satellite project, the Government Office announced on January 7.

The Minister of Planning and Investment will oversee the use of the ODA.

The Prime Minister has made the Vietnam Academy of Science and Technology responsible for the execution and effectiveness of the project that is part of Vietnam’s strategy for the application of space technology and research to 2020.

The satellite is scheduled to be operational in 2012 and will be used to help Vietnam map its natural resources and provide information about the environment and disasters.

National Space Science and Technology Research Programme chairman Nguyen Khoa Son said the project would cost an estimated US$100 million and help free Vietnam from reliance on satellite images provided by other countries.

Vietnam launched its first satellite last April.