[Satellite TODAY Insider 07-06-12] Vietnam’s second telecommunications satellite, Vinasat-2, has completed on-orbit deployment and checkout of all spacecraft systems and is ready to commence service, the satellite’s state-owned operator Vietnam Posts and Telecommunications Group (VNPT) confirmed July 5.
Arianespace launched Vinasat-2 for VNPT in May as part of a turnkey contract with Lockheed Martin Commercial Space Systems. The satellite was designed and built by Lockheed Martin based on its A2100 platform, featuring 24 Ku-band channels providing uplink and downlink coverage. VNPT will use Vinasat-2 to provide fixed satellite services to Vietnam and neighboring countries from its orbital slot at 131.8 degrees East.
Vinasat-2 is the second satellite Lockheed Martin has produced for VNPT. The U.S.-based manufacturer successfully delivered Vinasat-1, Vietnam’s first ever satellite, to VNPT in 2008 for $300 million. Arianespace launched Vinasat-1 in April 2008.
“Vinasat-2 will join Vinasat-1 to form a satellite network, helping to improve the business capabilities, safety and reliability of the Vietnam telecommunications network as well as support and back up the terrestrial transmission infrastructure,” VNPT President and CEO Vu Tuan Hung said in a statement. “This will promote the satellite industry of Vietnam, bringing common values to the community and enabling the long-term development and business plan of VNPT in the area of satellite communications. It also helps satisfy the needs of the dynamic economy of Vietnam and help integrate Vietnam into the world and regional community in all areas of life.”
Lockheed Martin Commercial Space Systems President Joseph Rickers said the satellite was designed with additional fuel reserves to maximize its projected 15-year life.
“Lockheed Martin’s low-risk solution utilized heritage Ku-band flight-proven equipment from numerous previous A2100 programs to meet VNPT’s schedule requirements,” Rickers said in a statement. "Vinasat-2 is the result of Lockheed Martin and VNPT’s commitment to excellence, mission success and teamwork. "From contract award in May 2010, Lockheed Martin and VNPT worked together seamlessly to ensure an efficient on-time delivery of Vinasat-2, a highly reliable and capable satellite that will serve its users for many years to come.”