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Azerbaijan To Take First Commercial Communications Satellite from Orbital

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Orbital Sciences
: 03 June, 2010  (Application Story)
Based on STAR-2, the first communications satellite to be deployed by Azerbaijan will significantly improve the communications infrastructure of the country
Orbital Sciences has signed a contract with International Relations and Accounting Centre of The Ministry of Communications and Information Technologies (Ministry) of the Republic of Azerbaijan to design, build and deliver the Azerspace/Africasat-1a commercial communications satellite. The satellite will be based on Orbital’s flight-proven STAR-2 platform and will generate approximately five kilowatts of payload power for 36 active transponders. The Azerspace/Africasat-1a satellite carries hybrid Ku and C-band payloads to provide services to Azerbaijan, Central Asia, Europe and Africa. Orbital will be responsible for providing the satellite and ground system.

Following its launch and deployment, the spacecraft will be located in geosynchronous orbit (GEO) at 46 degrees East longitude through an arrangement between the Ministry and Measat of Malaysia, which owns the rights to the orbital slot. Upon completion of in-orbit testing, operational control of the satellite will be handed over to the Ministry, which will continue to operate the spacecraft from its control centre in Baku. This latest order for one of Orbital’s GEO communications satellites is the 31st STAR-class spacecraft to be ordered by customers throughout the world.

“The new contract with Azerbaijan represents the tenth commercial communications satellite order in the past two years for our Star satellites, demonstrating continued strong market demand and customer acceptance of our satellite platform and supporting ground services,” said Mr Michael Larkin, Orbital’s Executive Vice President and General Manager of its Space Systems Group. “From the world’s largest satellite operators, such as Intelsat and SES, to regional operators such as Optus, Star One and Telenor, and now Azerbaijan, Orbital is prepared to provide our comprehensive systems capabilities to all our customers.”

Dr Ali Abbasov, Minister of Communications and Information Technology for the Republic of Azerbaijan, stated, “The Azerspace/Africasat-1a project is a keystone to the advancement and progress of Azerbaijan as we significantly expand our communications infrastructure within our borders and our connectivity to Europe, Central Asia, Africa and the Middle East.”
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