Vietnam launches its first satellite

21 Apr 2008

VietNamNet Bridge reports that Vinasat 1, the country’s first telecoms satellite, was successfully launched from the Kourou Space Centre in French Guyana on Saturday. The orbiter was carried on an Ariane 5 rocket to which the Brazilian Star One C2 satellite was also fastened. Incumbent telco Vietnam Post and Telecoms (VNPT) plans to supply satellite-based services from June 2008. Vinasat 1 will be controlled from two land stations, one in Ha Tay province in the north and one in Binh Duong province in the south. The idea to launch Vietnam’s own satellite was hatched in 1995. In October 1998, the government approved the Vinasat pre-feasibility project, forseeing a launch in the second quarter of 2001. However, the government did not invite bids for the project until mid-2003, and it was not until May 2006 that a contract was signed for the construction and launch of an orbiter, with US-based Lockheed Martin Commercial Systems. The total cost of Vinasat 1 to date is USD200 million, which VNPT plans to recoup within ten years.

Vietnam, VNPT-Vinaphone