Turkmenistan to launch artificial Earth satellite (UPDATE)
Turkmenistan , Ashgabat, Sept. 14 / Trend H.Hasanov /
Turkmenistan works to establish and launch the first national Earth satellite into orbit, President Gurbangulu Berdimuhammedov said in his address to participants of the Turkmentel-2011 exhibition.
"These days, we are working to establish and launch the first Turkmen artificial satellite into orbit. This will allow us to bring national television broadcasts to a new level, as well as to provide easier access to the Internet with a wide-format, wide open prospect for the most advanced and effective forms of communication," the address stated.
Earlier, Berdimuhamedov signed a decree on establishing the National Space Agency. This space agency will carry out functions to control near-earth orbit satellites, establish satellite communication, and conduct research in outer space.
Turkmenistan 's own satellite should also contribute to implementing environmental programs and improving methods of exploring new deposits.
It was reported last autumn that the French Thales won an international tender, though the contract signing was not reported. This is the first satellite to be launched by Turkmenistan. It will make a significant breakthrough in telecommunications, Internet, stationary and mobile communications.
According to some estimates, Turkmenistan's astroclimatic conditions are among the world's best for astronomical observation. Particularly, the transparency of the atmosphere, favorable wind conditions, and illumination allows observation of over 2,000 cosmic objects per year.
An artificial satellite is expected to correspond with the country's economic goals. The satellite will allow the country to monitor agricultural areas, conduct research for the oil and gas industry, and carry out environmental monitoring.