Vietnam's Space Technology Institute, which mainly involves in developing satellite technologies, equipment, remote sensing technology and application, and space dynamics, was inaugurated Tuesday.
The institute's functions include researching into designing and assembling small satellites, applying space technologies in life, and constructing space facilities, including laboratories and earth stations, according to Vietnam News Agency.
Under a national strategy on research and application of space technology until 2020 recently approved by the government, Vietnam will master technologies and techniques regarding production of small satellites, launching equipment, and earth stations in the 2011-2020 period.
Between 2006 and 2010, Vietnam will intensify application of space technology in four main spheres, namely communications, hydrometeorology, natural resource and environment, and satellite- based positioning.
Under the strategy, by 2010 space technology should be widely applied in the fields like posts and telecommunications, radio and television, meteorology, agriculture and transport.
In May 2006, U.S. firm Lockheed Martin Commercial Space Systems won a bid to build and launch Vietnam's first communication satellite. The Vietnamese government has selected May 2008 as the deadline for launching the medium-sized satellite coded Vinasat which will span its coverage over Vietnam, other Southeast Asian countries, Japan, the Korean peninsula, eastern Oceania and South China Sea.
Total investment for the Vinasat project is 2,885 billion Vietnamese dong (180.3 million U.S. dollars).