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Turkmenistan's First Satellite Put Into Orbit

Turkmenistan's first telecommunications satellite has been put into orbit.

The satellite was sent into space on an unmanned SpaceX rocket, which blasted off from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida on April 27.

The satellite -- known as TurkmenAlem52E -- is due to relay television broadcasts and other services to more than 1.2 billion people in Central Asia, Europe, the Middle East, and North Africa, according to the company Thales Alenia Space.

Turkmen President Gurbanguly Berdymukhamedov on April 28 hailed the launch, saying it showed the country had reached a "cosmic level."

The launch was the 18th for Space Exploration Technologies, the privately owned, California-based company known as SpaceX, and its second in less than two weeks.

Based on reporting by Reuters and AP