Arianespace To Launch Azerbaijan’s 1st Satellite

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PARIS — Arianespace will launch Azerbaijan’s first national telecommunications satellite in 2012 aboard an Ariane 5 ECA rocket under a contract signed Nov. 5, Arianespace and the Azerbaijan government announced.

The Azerspace/Africasat-1a satellite, carrying 24 C-band and 12 Ku-band transponders, will be operated at 46 degrees east longitude in geostationary orbit in a partnership between Azerbaijan and Malaysia’s Measat satellite operator, which is expanding into Africa.

Azeri officials said Measat would have 40 percent of the capacity, Azerbaijan would use 20 percent and the remaining 40 percent would be available for lease to third parties.

The satellite, expected to weigh about 3,000 kilograms at launch, is under construction by Orbital Sciences Corp. of Dulles, Va.