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

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Vietnam's first satellite ready for launch

HANOI - Vietnam's first satellite, slated for being launched in French Guyana in South America, is scheduled to go into orbit on April 10, a week later than planned, local newspaper Vietnam News reported Thursday.

The telecommunications satellite named Vinasat, built by U.S. firm Lockheed Martin for over 200 million U.S. dollars for almost two years, has 20 transceivers, capable of serving 200 digital television channels or tens of thousands of phone channels or high-speed Internet connection. It will serve Southeast and Northeast Asia for 15-22 years. The launch of Vietnam's first satellite is also of great significance to national security because it will improve the stability and security of the country's information network, said the Vinasat project director Hoang Minh Thong.

With its own satellite, Vietnam will not have to spend some 15 million dollars annually renting foreign satellites, he said, noting that in the age of emerging Internet-based telecommunications, satellites do not provide as much economic benefits as previously. The project's investor is the state-owned Vietnam Posts and Telecommunications Group.

Xinhua - February 13, 2008.

Vietnamís first satellite ready to blast off in April

Vietnamís first satellite arrived at the Kourou launch pad in French Guyana Wednesday for launching into orbit on April 2. Vinasat-1 will be stationed at a final orbital position of 132 degrees East. According to the Vietnam Post and Telecommunications Group, the final check prior to launch has been successfully completed.

Vinasat-1 will have a capacity of more than 200 digital television channels and tens of thousands of Internet data transmission and telecom channels. The footprints of the US$180 million satellite will cover Vietnam, Laos, India, Australia, and other eastern Asian nations. Manufactured by US aerospace company Lockheed Martin, Vinasat-1, which will have a lifespan of 15 years, will be launched by French launch company Arianespace It will help improve the countryís telecom network and save around $15 million per year the country pays to hire transponders aboard foreign satellites.

Vietnam News Agency - February 13, 2008.