The Indian Space Research Organisation (Isro) has given a proposal for a ground station in Vietnam and the Prime Minister’s Office (PMO) has expressed desire for such a project.
It may be noted that Isro has a network of ground stations in the country, one in Mauritius and two units in Indonesia.
If the new proposal for a ground station in Vietnam was accepted by the government, it will help the country receive, process and use data from Indian satellites for a variety of applications including disaster management support.
The new ground station in Vietnam will also be used to offer training in space-related technology and services to Asean members.
Isro seems to have convinced Prime Minister Narendra Modi who discussed the topic at the India-Asean meet at Nay Pyi Taw, Myanmar in November.
“Modi has broken the ice on the matter and it assumes importance as this is a diplomatic project which will need another country’s co-operation,” the scientist said.
Another scientist said that currently, for any major launch that has a launch phase of more than 22 minutes (like Mars mission), they need to use the help of global ground stations for which there are partnerships.
“But for launches that have a launch phase of 22 minutes or less (all our communication and remote sensing satellites), we use our own stations barring one. This station at Vietnam will enable us to be completely self-reliant for such satellites,” he pointed out.
Besides, this will allow India to take lead in the region and act as a station for other smaller Asian countries during their launches.