Turkmenistan plans first satellite launch in March

DetailsRebecca Hawkes | 13 February 2015

Turkmenistan will launch its first satellite in March 2015 to accelerate the development of broadcasting and telecommunications services in the country, according to President Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedov.

The satellite, called TurkemenAlem (Turkmen Universe) and built by France's Thales Alenia Space, was originally scheduled for launch by US company SpaceX in November 2014.

Although SpaceX has not revealed its long-term target launch dates, the Turkmenistan Government joins Japan's SKY Perfect JSAT Corp, SES and Israel's Spacecom as customers to have satellites due for launch on Falcon 9 rockets this year.

Turkmenistan's communications satellite will have a 15-year lifespan and will reportedly be operated by a control centre in Akhal Province, with a back-up control centre in Dashoguz Province.