TurkmenAlem52E/MonacoSAT arrives in Cape Canaveral!
The TurkmenAlem52E/MonacoSAT telecommunications satellite was shipped from Thales Alenia Space's Cannes plant on February 23, 2015, arriving at the Cape Canaveral launch site in Florida on February 26. Built by Thales Alenia Space as prime contractor, on behalf of the Turkmenistan Ministry of Communications, the satellite will be orbited in March 2015 by a SpaceX Falcon 9 launcher.
Once operational in orbit, TurkmenAlem52E/MonacoSAT will allow Turkmenistan to operate its first national satellite telecommunications system, ensuring enhanced, secure telecommunications for the country. The satellite is built on a Thales Alenia Space Spacebus 4000 C2 platform, will weigh 4,500 kg at launch and offers a design life exceeding 15 years. Its coverage zone encompasses Europe, Central Asia up to the Chinese border and virtually all of Africa. The Turkmenistan Ministry of Communications will use Monaco's 52°E orbital position, via the Monaco-based satellite operator, Space Systems International - Monaco (SSI).
Thales Alenia Space's contribution
As prime contractor for this in-orbit delivery contract, Thales Alenia Space was in charge of satellite design and manufacture, along with the manufacture of ground support equipment for the two satellite control stations, all associated services, provision of launch services and insurance. The Turkmenistan team, which manages TurkmenAlem52E/MonacoSAT, received intensive training from Thales Alenia Space engineers to ensure trouble-free satellite operation.
Delivery scheduling par excellence
The first Turkmenistan telecom satellite was produced and ready to ship in just 27 months, more than four months ahead of the contractual deadline. TurkmenAlem52E/MonacoSAT is a perfect example of Thales Alenia Space's excellence in reliable delivery scheduling. Launch is now expected in March 2015 instead of the original date of late November 2014, because of the Falcon 9 launch manifest.