Turkmenistan takes Monaco orbital slot
By Chris Forrester
Tiny Monte Carlo (population 35,400) was never likely to need a great deal of orbital satellite capacity, although only slightly larger Luxembourg (505,000) has made a very good business out of satellite communications. Monaco, via Space Systems Intíl/Monaco S.A.M., has instead licensed certain orbital rights to Turkmenistan (population 5.1 million) in order for the oil-rich nation to put its own communications satellite into space.
Turkmenistan has contracted with Thales Alenia to build a communications satellite which will be placed at 52 degrees East in 2014. It is expected that launching Turkmenistanís satellite into the orbit will accelerate the development of Turkmenistanís communications systems, Internet and television, and facilitate the successful implementation of environmental programmes.