Vinasat-1 (stylized in all uppercase) is the first Vietnamese satellite to be placed in orbit. It was launched at 22:17 GMT on 18 April 2008, by an Ariane 5ECA rocket from the Guiana Space Centre in Kourou. The launch was conducted by the European organisation Arianespace. VINASAT is the national satellite program of Vietnam. The project aims to bring independence in satellite communications for Vietnam, besides other benefits such as enhancing national security, opening new economic opportunities, etc.
|Mission duration||15 years|
|Launch mass||2,637 kilograms (5,814 lb)|
|Start of mission|
|Launch date||18 April 2008, 22:17UTC|
|Rocket||Ariane 5ECA V182|
|Launch site||Kourou ELA-3|
|Perigee altitude||35,782 kilometres (22,234 mi)|
|Apogee altitude||35,803 kilometres (22,247 mi)|
|Epoch||29 October 2013, 15:56:24 UTC|
Vietnam hopes for some economic benefits from the telecommunications links that the satellite will provide. It is expected that the satellite will save several million dollars per year in fees presently paid for leasing of transponders on satellites from other countries. Vietnam hopes for radio, television, and telephone access in all corners of the country.
Originally planned for 2005, the launch of Vinasat-1 was delayed to 18 April 2008, owing to difficulties in completing the frequency coordination procedures under the Radio Regulations of the International Telecommunication Union (ITU).
The project of providing the operations for the satellite was entirely managed by Lockheed Martin Commercial Space Systems (LMCSS). This was due to a delivery-in-orbit contract signed in Hanoi on May 12, 2006.