VietNamNet Bridge – With a total investment capital of US$290-350 million, Vietnam’s second telecommunications satellite – Vinasat 2 – is scheduled for launch in 2012, reported the Vietnam Post and Telecommunications Group (VNPT).
The VNPT on September 3 reported to the Ministry of Information and Communications on its implementation of the Vinasat-2 project. The group plans to launch Vinasat-2 into orbit at 107 degrees east, one of the three coordinates that Vietnam registered in 2008.
VNPT is considering buying technology to launch the satellite or at least complete some basic stages by itself. The group has carried out market surveys and met with some foreign partners.
The first satellite of Vietnam, the Vinasat-1, was launched on April 19, 2008 by Ariane 5 missile of France’s Arianespace. This project was also implemented by VNPT.
The idea to launch Vietnam’s own satellite was initiated in 1995. In October 1998, the government approved the Vinasat pre-feasibility project. According to an initial plan, Vinasat would be launched in the second quarter of 2001 and be exploited in the fourth quarter of 2001. However, bid invitations were not released till mid 2003. On May 12, 2006, VNPT signed a contract with the US’ Lockheed Martin Commercial Systems on satellite manufacturing, launching, etc.
Finally, the satellite was launched on April 19, 2008 in French Guyana (South America) by France’s Arianespace Group.
The total value of Vinasat-1 is around $250 million. VNPT plans to recoup its investment within 9-10 years. The position in orbit of Vinasat is 132o east. Vinasat covers Vietnam, Laos, Cambodia, some Eastern Asian countries, India and Australia. It has a lifespan of 15 years.
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