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China Discusses Launching First Turkmen Satellite


A modified model of the Long March CZ-2F rocket carrying an unmanned spacecraft blasts off from the launch pad at the Jiuquan Satellite Launch Center in northwest Gansu Province.

A modified model of the Long March CZ-2F rocket carrying an unmanned spacecraft blasts off from the launch pad at the Jiuquan Satellite Launch Center in northwest Gansu Province.

Officials say plans are in motion for a Chinese rocket to bring Turkmenistan's first satellite to Earth orbit in 2014.

The issue was reportedly discussed on March 29 in Ashgabat between a visiting delegation from a Chinese state-run industrial group, the Great Wall, and senior Turkmen officials.

In November 2011, Turkmen President Gurbanguly Berdymukhammedov proposed China's possible involvement in Turkmenistan's fledgling space program during an official visit to Beijing.

An agreement was also announced last year in which a French company, Thales Alenia Space France, would be involved in the development of Turkmenistan's first satellite, which would reportedly be aimed at enhancing telecommunications.

Based on reporting by ITAR-TASS and Turkmenistan.ru
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