Weekly economic review (Aug.6-11)

One of the most ambitious projects of recent times - project of launching a national telecommunications satellite Azerspace - enters a new stage.

JSC Azerkosmos signed an agreement with the British insurance broker Marsh on insurance of Azerbaijan's first telecommunication satellite Azerspace-1. The contract was signed for a year and envisages defrayal of all costs in case of any accidents that will allow JSC Azerkosmos to continue work within satellite program Azerspace-1 at the expense of insurance indemnities.

Azerbaijan's first telecommunication satellite (Azerspace-1) will be delivered to the Kourou spaceport in late 2012, and its launch is scheduled for early 2013.The French Arianspace will send the satellite into orbit. Azerspace's manufacturer is Orbital Sciences Corporation. An orbital position of 46 degrees east longitude has been leased from Malaysian satellite operator MEASAT.

Two loan agreements were signed in the frame of launching of the first telecommunications satellite Azerspace into orbit in 2011. The first agreement was signed on the construction of the satellite and the second - on its launch. The total cost of the project to launch the first telecommunications satellite Azerspace-1 - $250 million.

Currently, the work is underway on the construction of satellite ground control station in Baku, and the construction of the second station, which located on the territory of the Nakhichevan Autonomous Republic, was launched in January 2012

The foundation for implementation of the second satellite program was also laid last year. The second satellite, which is scheduled to be launched in 2015, will be low-orbiting and used for earth's remote sensing, cartographic work, as well as geological studies.

State Program on creation and development of space industry approved by Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev on August 17, 2009 is important and is a good example of a special government attention to this area. The program is designed to form the basis for the creation and development of the country's space industry to meet the growing needs of the people in information technology. In addition, the state program will provide the output of the country in the world market and the development of economic, social, scientific and cultural spheres, as well as areas of national security through the sustainable use of outer space.

Launching of the first telecommunications satellite into orbit is the first step in the implementation of promising projects to turn Azerbaijan into the country with the space industry. Existence of a national satellite will allow the country to establish a quality and reliable communications, the creation of multiservice networks VSAT, digital television services, Internet access, and will also provide information independence and allow to form a single information space.

Having own telecommunications satellite will also affect the substantial reduction of tariffs for telecommunication services provided by operators. Today, the country annually spends millions of dollars to lease transponders of foreign satellites for communications and broadcasting. According to international practice, the rent of six - eight transponders costs approximately $9-10 million a year.

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