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Turkmenistan Launching Into Space

Turkmenistan's next!

Turkmenistan's next!

Turkmenistan is poised to explore space by setting up its very own National Space Agency, which would operate under the auspices of the presidential office.

The agency would monitor low-earth orbit and satellite communications, and conduct scientific research, according to, a state-run news website.

According to the decree signed by President Gurbanguly Berdymukhammedov, the space exploration agency aims to ensure the implementation of scientific achievements in the national economy and supervise space-related research.

The official decree made no mention of future space flights by Turkmen astronauts.

To this point, Turkmenistan's greatest contribution to the galaxy was when its eccentric former ruler, Saparmurat Niyazov, sent a copy of his spiritual guide "Rukhnama" into space via a Russian rocket launched from the Baikonur cosmodrome located in neighboring Kazakhstan.

-- Farangis Najibullah