HA NOI — Viet Nam's second satellite, VINASAT-2, was successfully launched into orbit at 5:49am yesterday morning from the Guiana Space Centre at the European Spaceport in Kourou, French Guiana.
|Viet Nam's second satellite, VINASAT-2, was successfully launched into orbit at 5:49am yesterday morning. — VNA/VNS Photo Duc Tam
Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung visited the Viet Nam Post and Telecommunications Group (VNPT)'s headquarters in Ha Noi early yesterday morning to track the launching.
The satellite was launched together with the Japanese JCSAT-13 satellite.
VINASAT-2, funded and operated by VNPT, was deployed from Ariane 5's lower passenger position at just over 36 minutes after lift-off and is located at 131.8 degrees East.
The satellite has a life expectancy of 15 years and follows Viet Nam's first satellite VINASAT-1, launched in April 2008.
In Ha Noi, PM Dung said the Party and the State paid special interest to both Vinasat-1 and VINASAT-2 because they had political and socio-economic significance, showing the nation's sovereignty in space, as well as improving Viet Nam's image in the international arena.
Dung asked VNPT and the Ministry of Information and Communications to put VINASAT-2 into operation soon.
The PM also told VNPT to have effective plan to exploit VINASAT-2 and VINASAT-1 so that they could provide information to all regions and remote areas, as well as aid defence, security, flood prevention and disaster reduction.
Dung considered Vinasat-2 an important step to help the country become a strong information technology and communications nation.
According to VNPT's calculations, the US$260-280 million satellite is capable of covering Southeast Asia and some neighbouring countries, and the organisation would see returns on its investment after 10 years of operation.
Pham Long Tran, VNPT chairman, said the successful launching would reinforce the safety of the national telecommunications network. Tran added that with Vinasat-2, Viet Nam would be able to meet the demand for satellite capacity from now to 2020.
"VINASAT-2 is 20 per cent larger than Vinasat-1 and located close by; the two satellites would give the country a big advantage in service delivery and strengthen safety and stability," Tran said.
Ho Cong Lam, deputy director of VNPT's Viet Nam Telecom International, said his company has been monitoring the management and operation of the satellite in order to meet the demand of customers nationally and internationally.
"We have managed the whole system of VINASAT-1-related equipment under warranty, maintenance and stable operation with no major incidents," Lam said.
Kieu Nguyen, deputy director of the Vinasat Information Centre, said Lockheed Martin's experts supervised and operated Vinasat-1 with his staff in Viet Nam during the first year of operation. Then they turned the work over to the Vietnamese and returned to the US.
This time, Vietnamese technicians were sent to the US to watch the production process of Vinasat-2 so that they could understand the satellite better.
The Ha Noi-based Que Duong ground control station has finished all the measurements to be ready to receive and control the second satellite.
Some foreign experts were at the station to teach the engineers and technicians how to control the new satellite, said Nguyen, adding that his staff would have no problem since the new satellite had a similar design and structure. — VNS