HANOI, Feb. 21 (Xinhua) -- Vietnam will launch its third satellite into orbit in the second quarter of 2013, according to a document approved by the Vietnamese Government Office.
Vietnamese media VnExpress quoted Bui Trong Tuyen, vice president of Vietnam's Space Technology Institute, as saying that the VNREDSat-1A, an earth observation optical satellite, is designed for the service of earth observation, analysis of natural resources, environmental management and natural disasters monitoring.
VNREDSat-1A will be launched into sun synchronous orbit (SSO) at an altitude of 670 km. The 120-kg remote sensing satellite is built by France's Astrium, which will supply to Vietnam the complete satellite system and ground receiving facilities. During the project, Astrium will help training 15 Vietnamese engineers in controlling the satellite.
The satellite, worth 70-million U.S. dollars, will be launched by the Arianespace at the Guiana Space Center, French Guiana.
Vietnam's two communication satellites VINASAT-1 and VINASAT-2 were launched into orbit in 2008 and 2012, respectively.