~ Le ViÍt Nam, aujourd'hui. ~
The Vietnam News

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First satellite launch delayed until April 11

The launch of Vietnamís first satellite into orbit has been delayed for the third time until April 11, its manufacturer US aerospace company Lockheed Martin Commercial said Wednesday.

A Brazilian satellite scheduled for launching before Vinasat-1 at the same pad was postponed, which correspondingly set back its Vietnamese counterpart, the company announced. The US$180 million satellite was first due to be sent off at 132 degrees east on March 29, but was pushed back until April 2, and subsequently to April 10, to ensure that the launch would be a complete success. Vietnam Post and Telecommunications Group (VNPT), the satelliteís investor, said the third delay would not affect its set target for commencing operation before May 23.

Vinasat-1 is expected to cover Vietnam, Laos, East Asian nations, India and Australia and has a projected lifespan of 15 years. It will be able to provide more than 200 digital television channels while facilitating Internet data transmission and telephone communication.

Tuoi Tre - March 7, 2008.