Viet Nam’s First Satellite Scheduled to Launch

VINASAT-1, Viet Nam’s first satellite, is scheduled to be launched at 5:16 a.m., Saturday, according to the Vietnam Posts and Telecommunications Group (VNPT).

VINASAT-1 satellite is installed into the Ariane 5 launcher 

After the success of a test on Tuesday, officers of VNPT and its foreign partners, the Lockheed Martin Commercial Space Systems and Arianespace, had a meeting Wednesday to review the satellite’s readiness for launch.

The managers decided that VINASAT-1 will be launched Saturday aboard a heavy-lift Ariane 5-ECA launcher provided by Arianespace, along with the Star One C2 satellite for Star One, a Brazilian telecommunications operator.

At 8 p.m. Thursday, Arian 5 and its dual payload of Star One C2 and VINASAT-1 will be moved to the launch zone in preparation for lift-off.

Four technical specialists from VNPT are working side by side with their foreign partners so that VINASAT-1 will be ready to go into orbit.

VINASAT-1 features 12 operating Ku-band transponders to provide coverage over Viet Nam, Laos, Cambodia, Thailand and part of Myanmar. The spacecraft also features eight C-band primary transponders to provide coverage over Viet Nam, Cambodia, Laos, Southeast Asia, India, Japan and Australia.

VINASAT-1, a medium-sized commercial satellite, is designed for a minimum service life of 15 years. It will be located at an orbital slot 132 degrees east, 35,768 km away from the Earth.

Besides satellite control stations located in the northern province of Ha Tay and the southern province of Binh Duong, the company is also building another station named NOC in Ha Tay to make full use of the commercial benefits of the satellite, according to Mr. Nguyen Ba Thuoc, deputy director of VNPT Group.

U.S aerospace giant Lockheed Martin, builder of VINASAT-1, has prepared the main satellite control center near Ha Noi as well as a standby center near Ho Chi Minh City.

The company’s representatives will stay in Viet Nam for six months after the launch and VNPT will continue to receive technical aid from Lockheed Martin during the satellite’s service life of 15 years.

A staff of 100 will manage and exploit of VINASAT-1. Seven training courses will be provided to Vietnamese staff by Lockheed Martin. VNPT has signed a contract with SES Astra, a leading satellite operator in Europe, to train 20 staff members.

VNPT is scheduled to begin offering satellite-related services in June. These include leasing VINASAT-1’s frequency band as well as package services for digital television channels, internet data transmission, long-distance educational programs, and telephone channels. 

Related article:
Launch of 1st Satellite Delayed till Apr 19

By Staff Writers – Translated by Khanh Hong

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