Turkmenistan takes one more step toward launching its first satellite [Times of Central Asia]
(Times of Central Asia Via Acquire Media NewsEdge) ASHGABAT (TCA) — Installation work has been completed on Turkmenistan's first-ever communication satellite due to be launched this year. The report on the creation of the national satellite was presented at a Turkmen government meeting chaired by President Gurbanguly Berdymukhammedov earlier this month.
"Installation work on the communication satellite TurkmenAlem 52.00E, installation of astronomical measuring instruments and communication equipment for all-day management of the satellite was completed, the inspection of the technical characteristics of satellite dishes was conducted," State News Agency of Turkmenistan (TDH) reported. The French firm Thales Alenia Space, the European leader in satellite systems, signed a contract with Turkmenistan's Ministry of Communication for the design, manufacture and delivery of the first Turkmenistan Telecommunication Satellite in 2011. The satellite will enable Turkmenistan to operate its first National System of Satellite Communications in order to secure and enhance the country's communication means. The satellite will be based on Thales Alenia Space Spacebus C2 platform. The launch is scheduled for 2014 for a 15-year lifetime. The satellite, of around 10 KW power and above 4.5-ton launch mass, will carry Ku transponders covering large beams over Central Asia region, the French company said. The California-based Space Exploration Technologies (SpaceX) has been awarded a contract with Thales Alenia Space to launch Turkmenistan's satellite to geostationary transfer orbit in late-2014 aboard a Falcon 9 rocket, the US company earlier said.If the project is successful, Turkmenistan will become the second nation in Central Asia to build and launch its own satellite. Neighboring Kazakhstan launched a Russian-made KazSat satellite in 2006 but lost communications with it in 2008. In 2011, it launched the KazSat-2 satellite, designed by Russia and equipped by France, EurasiaNet reported.
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