Turkmenistan to launch first space communications satellite in 2014

by Staff Reporter | March 1st, 2013

Turkmen leader Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedov

The satellite will improve telephone services in the state, as well as increase the number of available television channels for local residents.

Construction on two ground control centers for the satellite will begin next month, while Turkmen specialists will be trained at Thales Alenia Space Aerospace plants

Construction of the satellite is currently under construction by European firm Thales Alenia Space, which signed a contract with the Turkmen government in late 2011.

The launch of the satellite will reportedly allow the Central Asian state to build a space communications system in the near future.

Thales is also expected to construct a new ground control system, as well as ensuring the satellite operates effectively for the next 15 years.

Construction on two ground control centers for the satellite will begin next month, while Turkmen specialists will be trained at Thales Alenia Space Aerospace plants. Graduates of the country’s State University of Makhtumkuli and the Institute of Transport and Communications will be chosen for training. Turkmen graduates of foreign universities will also be eligible for the training programme.

Turkmen leader Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedov announced his attention to build a national space communications system in 2009.

Turkmenistan is currently using Russia’s Yamal satellite for its satellite communications needs.

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