Lockheed Martin to produce Vietnam's second satellite

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US aerospace company Lockheed Martin Commercial signed a contract on Tuesday  to manufacture Vietnam's second satellite, VINASAT-2, which is scheduled for launch in 2012.

The company will also supply investor Vietnam Posts and Telecommunication Group with equipment for a control center and a launching service.

With a total investment of US$280-300 million, VINASAT-2 will have a 15-year-life-span and cover Southeast Asia and its surroundings, Bui Thien, deputy director general of VNPT, said at the signing ceremony.

The new satellite will be positioned at 107 degrees east when it goes into orbit.

It is one of three satellite orbits that the Radio Frequency Directorate of the Ministry of Information and Communications registered with the International Telecommunication Union in 2008. Under the agreement, if Vietnam fails to launch a satellite by 2012, it will lose all the registered orbits to other countries.

Vietnam's first satellite, VINASAT-1, also manufactured by Lockheed Martin, was launched in April 2008 to improve telecommunication services, internet connection and TV reception in the country's most remote areas.

The $200 million satellite's footprint extends over Southeast and East Asia, India and Hawaii.

VNPT said so far they have exploited some 80 percent of VINASAT-1's capacity. 

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