Hanoi: Vietnam will build a space centre by 2018 for which it will spend over $600 million.
Under the plan, the Vietnam Space Centre, covering an area of nine hectares at Hoa Lac High-tech Park in Hanoi, will specialise in researching and producing small satellites to be used in domestic weather forecast, geodesy, exploration, radio- television broadcast and rescue, Xinhua reported.
The project will be implemented by the Vietnam Academy of Science and Technology (VAST) with design and construction support from Japan, said Doan Minh Chung, director of the Space Technology Institute (STI).
Once the project is over, Vietnam will own the most advanced space science and technology research and training centre in Southeast Asia.
The country is expected to reduce 10 percent of damages caused by natural disasters and is able to design and produce small satellites for the earth observance.
Vietnam and Japan have potential for long-term cooperation in remote sensing and application and development of small satellites, said Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) Director Tetsuo Tanaka during STI`s 5th anniversary celebrations.
As a leading unit in research and development of space technology in Vietnam, over the past five years STI has actively cooperated in Japan-funded projects in space technology development.
The institute sets targets -- by 2020 it will master small satellite technology used in earth observance and by 2030 it can design and produce small satellites.