First made-in-Vietnam satellite yet to go into orbit

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The first satellite made in Vietnam was not put into orbit from the International Space Station on Thursday night as planned because a spaceship has not been detached from the station yet.

F1, the satellite made by the Hanoi-based telecom firm FPT, was supposed to be placed in orbit by a robotic hand controlled by Japanese spaceman Akihiko Hoshide.

Dinh Quoc Tri, from the satellite-making team at the FPT university, said the spaceship of the European Space Agency needs to leave ISS for F1 and other satellites to go into space, news website VnExpress reported.

"NASA will inform us of the new launching time," Tri said.

F-1, weighing one kilogram, took two years and around VND4 billion (US$191,800) to build, beginning late 2008. It is designed to take 640x480-pixel photos and transmit data to earth at 1,200 bits per second.

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FPT has said it would build a series of similar satellites for naval and jungle observation.

Vietnam began using its second satellite, Vinasat-2, in early July, four years after it launched its first, Vinasat-1. Both were built by the US-based weapons maker, Lockheed Martin Corporation. 

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