Astrium has signed a contract worth EUR 55.2 million with the Vietnam Academy of Science and Technology (VAST) for the development, manufacture and launch of an Earth observation optical satellite system. This follows on from last November’s intergovernmental agreement on space co-operation between France and Vietnam, in which the French government affirmed its commitment to building a closer partnership with Vietnam in the domain of science and technology.
The contract awarded by VAST – the national institution responsible for setting up Vietnam’s Earth observation space programme – relates to the Vietnam Natural Resources, Environment and Disaster Monitoring Satellite VNREDSat-1 and the corresponding ground systems.
This programme is the result of an initiative by the Vietnamese government to create a space infrastructure enabling the country to better monitor and study the effects of climate change, predict and take measures to prevent natural disasters, and optimise the management of its natural resources. More generally, it will allow the country to advance its knowledge in the field of space engineering and benefit from the ensuing economic and technological growth to create new employment opportunities.
The space system comprises an optical satellite capable of capturing images with a resolution of 2.5 metres, the associated ground control, image receiving and processing stations, and a co-operation and training programme for the Vietnamese engineers. The image receiving and processing terminals will be integrated in Vietnam’s existing ENRMS monitoring station, a multi-satellite ground facility operated by the Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment.
The satellite will be built in Toulouse by a team including 15 Vietnamese engineers.
Jean Dauphin, Director of Earth Observation and Science Programmes for Astrium France, said: “I am delighted that Astrium has been chosen to construct Vietnam’s first Earth observation satellite. This contract is the result of long and fruitful discussions between Astrium and the space programme managers at VAST, and is indicative of the high technological standard and quality of the Earth observation space systems developed by Astrium.”