15:21, September 26, 2009
China will build and launch a communication satellite for Laos, the China Academy of Launch Vehicle Technology has said.
The academy, under the China Aerospace Science and Technology Corporation, on Friday did not specify when the satellite, dubbed the "Laos-1," would be finished or blasted off, only saying it would be carried by a China-made Long March carrier rocket.
The academy would also build land-based satellite tracking stations and the ground broadcast communication network for Laos, it said.
It is China's first contract for satellite manufacturing and launch service for a country from the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN).
China signed such contracts with Nigeria and Venezuela in 2007 and 2008 respectively.
Since 1987 China has conducted 30 international commercial satellite launches using the Long March series of carrier rockets.