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VINASAT-1 Successful Launch, April 18, 2008 - Vietnam

Vietnam's first communications satellite, VINSAT-1, was successfully launched at 22:17 GMT on April 18, 2008, aboard an Ariane 5 carrier rocket from Kourou, French Guiana.

The Ariane 5 rocket put two communication satellites into a geostationary transfer orbit during a 31-minute mission: Star One C2 for Brazilian operator Star One, as part of a turnkey contract with Thales Alenia Space; and VINASATt-1, built by Lockheed Martin Commercial Space Systems (LMCSS) for operator Vietnam Posts and Telecommunications Corporation (VNPT).

The vice director of the Space Technology Institute (STI) and the head of the Mechatronics Department of the Institute of Mechanics, Vietnam Academy of Science and Technology Dr. Pham Anh Tuan said, "The successful launch of Vietnam's first telecom satellite VINASAT-1 is a very important step for the Space Technology Development in Vietnam. We also face a big challenge to develop Vietnam's first small satellite that is made in Vietnam."

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