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Vietnam delays launch of first satellite

by Staff Writers
Hanoi (AFP) April 4, 2008
The launch of Vietnam's first satellite has been delayed by a week, the Vietnam Post and Telecommunications Group (VNPT) said Friday.

The Visanat, originally scheduled for launch April 12, will now shuttle into space on April 19, said Hoang Minh Thong, Vinasat committee director at VNPT.

Commercial services launcher Arianespace, which will send Visanat into space from its base in French Guiana in South America, had warned that the launch could be delayed if conditions were not optimal.

The project, which cost about 300 million dollars, has been in the pipeline for more than 10 years.

Vietnam signed a contract with US firm Lockheed Martin in May 2006 to build the satellite after delays largely due to problems in coordinating its frequencies with those of satellites already in orbit in the region.

The satellite, which weighs around 2.5 tonnes and has an estimated lifespan of 15 to 20 years, carries 20 transponders for transmission and reception of television channels, telecommunications and the Internet.

Vietnam also intends to use it to help open up its most remote regions, which have often been left behind by the national economic boom, and to better manage natural disasters, such as typhoons, which hit every year.

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Zenit Rocket To Orbit Israeli Satellite In Late April
Moscow (RIA Novosti) Apr 01, 2008
The launch of a modified Zenit rocket to put an Israeli communications satellite into orbit has been scheduled for April 24, Russia's Federal Space Agency (Roscosmos) said on Monday. Russia started preparations for the launch of a Zenit-3SLB rocket with a DM-SLB booster and Israeli AMOS-3 satellite on board from the Baikonur space center in Kazakhstan in October last year.

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