Azerbaijan’s first telecommunications satellite was successfully launched into orbit at a spaceport in French Guiana on 7 February by French company Arianespace. Azerspace/Africasat-1a was produced by Orbital Sciences Corporation under contract to Azerbaijan’s Ministry of Communications and Information Technologies (MCIT), which is the shareholder in the country’s national satellite operator, Azercosmos. Based on Orbital’s STAR-2 platform, the satellite carries 36 active C- and Ku-band transponders, providing communications coverage for Azerbaijan, Central Asia, Europe, Middle East and Africa during a designed mission life of 15 years. The Azerspace satellite is designed to provide digital broadcasting, internet access and data transmission, among other services.
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