Azeri telecoms satellite prepares for launch
Azerbaijan’s first telecommunications satellite is set for launch into orbit by French company Arianespace on 7 February, subject to local weather conditions at the spaceport in French Guiana. 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, enabling the spacecraft to provide communications coverage for Azerbaijan, Central Asia, Europe 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.