On April 27, Turkmenistan launched its first telecommunications satellite into space. The launch was hailed as a breakthrough by President Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedov, who watched the ceremony at Cape Canaveral in Florida live from Ashgabat via a conference call. The 4.5-ton satellite called TurkmenAlem52E/Monacosat was carried up to a geostationary orbit by a Falcon-9 rocket owned by US-Canadian billionaire Elon Musk’s SpaceX firm. The spacecraft had been constructed by a Franco-Italian joint venture, Thales Alenia Space, and is expected to serve for approximately 16 years before its planned decommissioning (Turkmeninform, April 29; Lenta, April 28).
The launch was initially scheduled for …read more
Source: The Jamestown Foundation