HA NOI — Viet Nam’s first satellite was scheduled to go into orbit on Thursday, April 10, a week later than planned, satellite-project director Hoang Minh Thong said yesterday.
But the minor delay had nothing to do with the ongoing testing of the satellite, he told Viet Nam News.
The satellite was to have been installed at Kourou, French Guyana, yesterday but was postponed by a delay in the launch of a European satellite.
"The bad news is that we have to wait for extra days, but on the bright side we will have more time for testing," said Thong.
"All the tests so far have produced positive results."
The telecommunication satellite was built by Lockheed Martin for more than US$200 million.
The work took almost two years.
It will be carried into orbit aboard a European Union Ariane rocket.
The project director said the launch of Viet Nam’s first satellite was of great significance to national security because it would improve the stability and security of the country’s information network.
It would also put national sovereignty into celestial orbit.
Although the new satellite would mean that Viet Nam would not have to spend about $15 million each year to lease a satellite, the project director conceded that in the age of the emerging Internet-based telecommunications, satellites do not provide as much economic benefit as previously.
"Certainly, telecommunications via optical cable is more efficient than satellite," he said.
"But as we have witnessed recently, satellites are the saviour when vital telecommunications services provided through optical cable collapse."
Viet Nam’s first satellite with its 20 sets of transmitters-receivers can service 200 digital television channels or tens of thousands of telephone channels or the high-speed Internet.
It will service on a wide region of Southeast and Northeast Asia for 15-22 years.
Time on the satellite would be available to any customer willing to pay said Viet Nam International Telecommunications Company deputy director Lam Quoc Cuong. — VNS