It has been 4 years since the launch of Azerspace-1 telecommunications satellite into orbit

Today is the fourth anniversary of the launch of Azerbaijan's first telecommunications satellite Azerspace-1 satellite into orbit.
That the economic growth in the non-oil sector was brought recently to the forefront of the state policy gave an impetus to the sustainable development of information and communications technologies, in particular, the space industry.
Thus, signing a decree approving the "State Program on establishment and development of space industry in Azerbaijan" by the President of the Republic of Azerbaijan Ilham Aliyev in August 2009 marked a new stage of development of the space industry in our country.
Azercosmos Open Joint Stock Company was established under the Ministry of Communications and Information Technologies by President of the Republic of Azerbaijan’s Decree No. 885 dated May 3, 2010 with the aim of building, launching into orbit, operating and maintaining a telecommunication satellite.       
Azerspace-1 telecommunication satellite was launched into orbit from Kourou Space Center on February 8, 2013, in French Guiana (a region in South America administered by France).
Azerspace-1 satellite, which was manufactured by US Orbital Sciences Corporation and was launched into orbit by highly reliable Ariane-5 carrier rocket produced by the French company Arianespace, was placed in the geostationary orbit at 46 degrees East longitude on February 19.  
It is for the 54th time the company Arianespace has successfully launched Azerspace-1 satellite into orbit since 2002.   
Azerspace-1 satellite, which was manufactured by Orbital Sciences Corporation and developed on the basis of STAR-2 satellite platform, now successfully operates on 22 active satellites.
Though Azerspace satellite has intended useful life of at least 15 years, this period was extended from 15 to 16.3 years because of the successful launches and efficient operation of the satellite in recent years.    
Azerspace-1 satellite located at 46° East geostationary orbit covers 1/3 of the world connecting more than 50 countries in Africa, Europe, Central Asia, the Caucasus and the Middle East.
Azerspace satellite operated by Azercosmos OJSC provides TV broadcasting and telecommunication services, as well as high-quality voice, video, data and mobile communication services for government and corporate clients.
Since Azercosmos OJSC’s services are bought essentially by foreign organizations and companies, its activities are mainly focused on exports.
To date, 78% of Azerspace-1 satellite’s capacity has been sold to corporate customers and more than $ 50 million have been earned from the satellite commercial activities.
It has been 4 years since Azercosmos entered the global satellite services market. During this period, active work has been carried out in the direction of attracting potential clients and promoting satellite’s orbital position.
In 2014, high quality broadcasting of Azerbaijani TV and radio channels via Azerspace started.
Presently, 30 TV channels and 17 radio channels are being broadcasted via satellite in Azerbaijani, Russian, Ukrainian and Turkish languages.
Note that Azercosmos was the official supplier of satellite services to the first European Games 2015 in Baku.
During the Games, Azerspace-1 satellite carried out high quality image transmission to 74 international broadcast centers across the world.
At the same time, the resources of the satellite were used for direct broadcasts in 2015, during the parliamentary elections in Azerbaijan and Turkey, the European Athletics Championships in Georgia, the Second World Nomads Games in Kyrgyzstan and so on.
This year, an agreement for commercial broadcasting of Adjara TV, 2TV, Maestro TV, Saperavi TV, Palitra TV, and Trialeti TV channels was signed between Azercosmos and the Georgian company The Georgian Public Broadcasting (GPB).  
At the same time,  Azercosmos provides high-quality satellite services to customers of different TV and radio sectors, broadcasters, data providers, government agencies and other telecommunication companies in Azerbaijan, Malaysia, Russia, Germany, Ukraine, Egypt, Georgia, United Arab Emirates, Turkey, Lebanon, Cameroon, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Estonia and Belarus.
In 2014, a customer base was successfully created, which now includes 19 countries.   
Since the beginning of its activities, Azercosmos OJSC gives special attention to training of local space industry personnel.
Since the space industry is a new area for the Republic of Azerbaijan, there is a need for training of highly qualified personnel in this field.
Thus, employees of Azercosmos have taken part in the short-term and long-term  theory and practical internships in partner companies such as US Orbital Sciences and Malaysian Measat Satellite Sistems. They have also attended a refresher courses held by famous training companies of Great Britain, China and Germany.
Today, Azerspace-1 satellite is being operated by local specialists.
Knowledge and skills acquired by Azercosmos specialists  will play an important role in preparing the next generation of staff in the field of telecommunications satellite control.
Plans for the future
Azerkosmos’ strategic plans include the expansion of coverage and range of services.
To this end, JSC is planning to place a second telecommunications satellite Azerspace-2 at the orbital position of 46 degrees east longitude in 2017.
The satellite coverage will include Europe, Central and South Asia, Middle East and Africa.
To meet the growing needs in the region, Azerspace-2 will provide strong technical capabilities, affordable coverage and quality services.
The new satellite will also act as a replacement satellite in the orbit of the first  telecommunications satellite Azerspace-1 and will enable Azercosmos to provide more reliable service.
In addition, Azerspace-2 will expand the company's coverage area.

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