Laos 2015 satellite launch 'on track'

Laos expects to launch its first satellite before December of next year to celebrate the 40th anniversary of the communist regime on Dec 2, a Post and Telecommunication Ministry official said Tuesday.

Lao Sat 1 is planned for the launch before Dec 2, 2015, the official, who requested anonymity, was quoted in the Vientiane Times on Tuesday.

The project is likely to cost US$250 million (8 billion baht), financed by loans from China.

Lao Sat 1 will carry 32 transponders for television and telephone channels.

The government in 2011 signed an agreement on the project with two Chinese companies who will lease time on Lao Sat 1. One is China Asia-Pacific Mobile Telecommunications Satellite Co, and the other is unknown.

Communists known as the Lao People's Revolutionary Party (LPRP) seized full control of the country on Dec 2, 1975, with the day now designated as Lao national day.

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