TODAY.AZ / Society

Azerbaijan signs contract to lease orbital position for national satellite

26 May 2010 [12:30] - TODAY.AZ
Today in Istanbul (Turkey) the Ministry of Communications and Information Technologies of Azerbaijan and the Malaysian satellite operator MEASAT signed a long-term contract on leasing an orbital position for Azerbaijani satellite Azerspace, the ministry reported.
The main contract with the manufacturer will be signed in Azerbaijan on May 27. The manufacturer of Azerspace satellite is US-based Orbital Sciences Corporation. Launch of first satellite is scheduled for June 2012.

Initially, the satellite launch was supposed to be implemented based on the American Falcon rocket carrier, but as the U.S. project delays, the ministry is also negotiating with Ukroboronservis on launching satellite with Zenit rocket carrier.

Parallel to this, one of the priority issues facing the ministry is to realize satellite resources. Previously, media reported that Malaysia expressed willingness to acquire a 40% share of Azerspace. The ministry intends to direct 80 percent of the satellite's resources to the international market and the remaining 20 percent to the domestic market.

The satellite's cost will be roughly 163 million manat. The satellite's construction will cost 87 million manat, and 40 million manat will be spent on the satellite's orbit. A satellite control center will cost 16 million manat and the remaining 18 million manat will be spent on fully insuring the satellite.

The operation term of the satellite is 15 years, the payback period - about 5 years.
Launching a communications satellite into orbit will be the first step in the implementation of perspective projects to turn Azerbaijan into the country with the space industry.


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