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ASHGABAT, October 28 (Itar-Tass) — Thales International of France will build the first satellite of Turkmenistan.
Thales International Vice-President Blaise Jaeger presented the satellite model to Turkmen President Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedow on Friday, the Turkmen television reports. The meeting took place within the celebrations of the 20th anniversary of independent Turkmenistan.
The sides declared “prospects for long-term and mutually beneficial contacts related to the massive transformations in Turkmenistan aimed at diversification of the national economy,” the television said.
Berdimuhamedow ordered the national government to draft proposals on the construction of Turkmenistan’s first satellite in 2009. “The satellite will accelerate the spread of Internet services in the country, promote environmental programs and survey of new deposits, and assist successful implementation of some other state programs,” he said.
The president established the National Space Agency in May 2011. U.S. SpaceX Vice-President Christophe Bauer said at the Fifth Turkmen-U.S. Business Forum in the same month that his company would launch the Turkmen satellite in 2014.
So far, a Yamal satellite of Gazprom Space Systems provides services to Turkmenistan, including digital television and broadcast of Russian television programs.