First Azerbaijani telecommunications satellite launches into space

by Staff Reporter | February 9th, 2013

Azerbaijan’s first telecommunications satellite, the Azerspace/Africasat-1a was successfully launched into orbit today from French Guyana, the Azerbaijani Embassy announced.

Azerspace/Africasat-1a will provide broadband internet, data, voice and broadcasting services to Central Asia, Europe and Africa during its 15-year mission life

“This is a proud day for the people of Azerbaijan,” said Azerbaijan Ambassador to the United States Elin Suleymanov. “The successful launch of Azerbaijan’s first telecommunications satellite marks an important milestone in the successful partnership with U.S. industry and the Government of Azerbaijan. This satellite will address current and future communications needs of Azerbaijan, the Caucasus Region, Central Asia, Europe and Africa.”

Virginia-based Orbital Sciences Corporation designed, built, and delivered the communications satellite as part of a USD 205 million contract with the Azercosmos, an Open Joint Stock Company of the Ministry of Communications and Information Technologies of the Republic of Azerbaijan. The satellite construction reportedly supported 1,500 U.S. jobs and is touted as an example of the bilateral relationship between the U.S. and Azerbaijan, America’s largest trade partner from the South Caucasus.

As the first national telecommunications satellite for Azerbaijan and for the South Caucasus, the Azerspace/Africasat-1a will provide broadband internet, data, voice and broadcasting services to Central Asia, Europe and Africa during its 15-year mission life. Azerbaijan-based Azercosmos will handle operational control of the satellite from control centers in Baku and Nakhchivan, Azerbaijan, once in-orbit testing is completed by Orbital.

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