Vietnam's second satellite successfully went into orbit early Wednesday morning.
"It is an important project in terms of politics, the economy, and society, and it helps reiterate Vietnam's sovereignty in space," said Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung, who watched the launch via videoconference.
Dung added that the successful liftoff of Vinasat-2 represents a major leap forward for Vietnam's telecommunication industry and asked the Vietnam Post and Telecommunication Group (VNPT) to put Vinasat-2 into use soon so it can coordinate with with Vinasat-1 (Vietnam's first satellite) in expanding the nation's telecommunication industry.
Vinasat-2 was positioned at 131.8 degrees east at 5.49 a.m. after leaving the Ariane 5 rocket, which took off at the Kourou spaceport in French Guiana, VnExpress reported.
Vinasat-1 was launched in 2008 and VNPT says they have exploited some 90 percent of its capacity.
With a total investment of between US$260-280 million, Vinasat-2 will continue to function for the next 15 years and will cover Southeast Asia and neighboring countries, the news website reported.
VNPT's officials said they plan to begin operating the second satellite for commercial purposes in July, and expect to recoup their investment in ten to 12 years.
The hope is that the two satellites will work together providing Vietnam with backup capacity, increased security and stability in providing telecom services to customers.