HANOI, Vietnam, May 16 (UPI) -- Vietnam's second satellite has been launched from the European Spaceport in Kourou, French Guiana, the state-run Vietnam News Agency reported Wednesday.
Thirty-five minutes after being launched atop an Ariane 5 rocket, the satellite separated and went into orbit, the agency said.
Vietnamese Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung, watching the launching broadcast live by the Vietnam Posts and Telecommunications Group, called the successful launch of VINA SAT-2 an important step to strengthen Vietnam in the field of information technology, Xinhua reported.
VINA SAT-2 will provides services to the national telecommunication network and expand the provision of telecom, audio-visual and Internet services across Vietnam, officials said.
Built by Lockheed Martin in the United States, the $300 million satellite weighs approximately 3 tons and has a lifespan of 15 years, they said.
The news satellite is vital because about 90 percent of the capacity of its predecessor VINA SAT-1 has been tapped, they said.