Launch of MonacoSAT Telecommunications Satellite at Cape Canaveral


At 7:05pm EDT on Monday, April 27th, 2015, the Monegasque firm Space System International (SSI) successfully launched its first Satellite from Cape Canaveral, Florida. The launch was notably attended by Ms. Marie-Pierre Gramaglia, Minister of Public Works, the Environment and Urban Development; Mr. André Saint-Mleux, Administrator of Monaco Telecom; and Mr. Christophe Pierre, Director of Electronic Communications.

The TurkmenAlem52E/MonacoSAT satellite is located in geostationary orbit above the Equator, at 52° East, and will cover a territory comprising a population 1.6 billion people in Central Asia and North Africa.

"The Goal is to offer better quality telecommunications access to countries in its specific geographic target area, including Turkmenistan, and to reduce the existing digital divide in remote areas,” Ms. Gramaglia highlighted as she congratulated the partners who, with the Principality, contributed to the success of this project: the Government of Turkmenistan; Dr. İlhami AYGUN, Director General of SSI; Thales Alenia Space, the company that built the satellite; and SPACE X who oversaw the launch.

It was in 2005 that the Princely Government applied to the International Telecommunications Union (ITU) for geostationary orbital positions. The Principality then had 8 years to put an operational satellite into space. Between 2005 and 2010, several studies were conducted with various private entities specializing in the establishment of geostationary orbits. In 2010, Dr. İlhami Aygun, Director General of SSI, accepted an offer for the position at 52° East. A joint working group was created to realign the desired coverage areas and to negotiate the delineation of neighboring networks with other space agencies.

A tripartite contract for the assembly and launch of the satellite was signed in 2011 between SSI, the Government of Turkmenistan, and the manufacturer Thales Alenia Space, headquartered in Cannes. As the two major financial contributors to the satellite’s construction, 2/3 of the transponders’ capacities will be reserved for Turkmenistan while 1/3 will be reserved for SSI.

Construction on the TurkmenAlem52E/MonacoSAT satellite was completed in 2014. At the end of February 2015, the satellite was sent by Antonov cargo to Cape Canaveral for the originally scheduled launch date of March 21st.

In her conclusion, Ms. Gramaglia expressed Monaco’s sense of pride in the launch and collaboration involved in the project, “Today, this successful launch serves as a great source of pride for our country, and the realization of a wonderful collaboration.”

Satellite launch:

Press Release 27 April 2015