Vietnam will send its second satellite into orbit on May 16, said Bui Quoc Viet, director of the Vietnam Post and Telecommunications Group (VNPT) information centre.
According to its investor, VNPT, after the first one, VINASAT-1, launched in 2008, VINASAT-2 is to promote Vietnam "s telecommunications market to meet the requirements of clients, maintain orbital positions and build upon existing VINASAT-1 infrastructure, which is running out of its capacity.
The 300 million USD satellite, constructed by US-based Lockheed Martin, will boost local expertise and further develop Vietnam"s satellite communications technology as well as communication amongst fishermen at sea, weather forecasts and defence security.
The new satellite has a larger capacity, greater weight, greater number of sensor responses, and higher bandwidth capacity. The VINASAT-2 will focus on the Ku-band transponders, which provide radio, television and telephone transmission services for all of Vietnam and other parts of the Southeast Asia region.
The new satellite, with a life expectancy of 15 years, will be launched on an Ariane 5 or Soyuz launch vehicle from the Guiana Space Centre at the European Spaceport in Kourou, French Guiana.