Turkmenistan, Ashgabat, Oct. 31 / Trend H. Hasanov /
Turkmen President Gurbanguli Berdimuhamedow met with the Vice President of Thales Michel Ricard, the Turkmen government reported on Wednesday.
The meeting focused on the progress of the project on establishment of a national satellite in Turkmenistan, the launch of which is scheduled for 2014. In addition, the report stated that the head of Thales expressed willingness to provide innovative solutions in the field of aerospace technology.
They also exchanged views on cooperation in the field of civil aviation and the further development of a mutually beneficial partnership.
According to the contract signed with the Turkmen government, last year Thales Alenia Space started construction of the first Turkmen national satellite.
In turn, Chinese industrial company Great Wall signed a contract under which China will assist Turkmenistan in the launch of its first communication satellite.
The launch is planned for 2014 from the Chinese Xichang space centre with a Changzheng-3B rocket type.
This is the first satellite in the region which will be launched by Turkmenistan and will make a significant breakthrough in the field of telecommunications and other applications such as the Internet and mobile communications.
By some estimates, the country's astro-climatic conditions are among the best in the world for astronomical observation.
In particular, the clarity of the atmosphere, favourable wind patterns and lighting allows the viewing of more than 2000 hours of observation of space objects a year.
It is expected that an artificial satellite can be employed to fulfil the goals set for the country's economy. In particular, it will be possible to monitor agricultural lands from space, to conduct research on the needs of the oil and gas industry and carry out environmental monitoring.