Azerbaijan, France in final stage of space negotiations
By Nigar Orujova
Negotiations between Azerbaijan's Space Agency Azercosmos and the French Airbus Defense and Space on the transfer of control of LEO satellite SPOT-7 are in their final stage, Communications and High Technologies Minister Ali Abbasov said on media September 3.
The remote sensing satellite SPOT-7 was launched on June 30 by Airbus Defense and Space.
Related documents are now ready for signing, Abbasov said.
"We hope that we will be able to launch the project this year," he added.
The satellite launch is an important step in implementation of an agreement on strategic cooperation with Azercosmos, which involves the joint use of satellites and empowerment in the area of geo-information.
Azercosmos and Airbus Defense and Space signed the agreement in May this year.
State-owned Space Agency Azercosmos, established in 2010, is the first satellite operator in Caucasus.
It was created to launch into orbit telecommunications satellites and manage and implement maintenance activities.
The agency aims to provide a basis for the formation and use of outer space for peaceful purposes and the use of space for commercial purposes.
Satellite operator of Azerbaijan provides services of digital television, data transmission, creation of VSAT multiservice networks via the first national telecommunications satellite Azerspace / Africasat-1a.
Azerspace-1satellite covers Eastern Europe, the Caucasus, Central Asia and North Africa, and offers digital broadcasting services, internet access, and data transmission.
It has also set up multiservice VSAT networks offering governmental communication services. Some 80 percent of the satellite's resources are available for commercial purposes.
Azerspace is broadcasting over 80 TV and radio channels including Georgian, Turkish, Ukrainian, and South African TV channels.