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Mission type Communications
Operator Azercosmos
COSPAR ID 2013-006B
SATCAT no. 39079
Mission duration 15 years
Spacecraft properties
Bus GEOStar-2
Manufacturer Orbital Sciences Corporation
Launch mass 3,275 kilograms (7,220 lb)[1]
Start of mission
Launch date February 7, 2013, 21:36 (2013-02-07UTC21:36Z) UTC[2]
Rocket Ariane 5ECA VA212
Launch site Kourou ELA-3
Contractor Arianespace
Orbital parameters
Reference system Geocentric
Regime Geostationary
Perigee 35,781 kilometres (22,233 mi)
Apogee 35,802 kilometres (22,246 mi)
Inclination 0.03 degrees
Period 1,436.05 minutes
Epoch 29 October 2013, 20:36:34 UTC[3]

Azerspace-1/Africasat-1a',[4], is Azerbaijan's first satellite in space. Built by Orbital Sciences Corporation, it was launched by Ariane 5 into orbit on February 7, 2013 from Kourou in French Guiana at orbital positions 46° east.[5][6][7] The satellite covers Europe and a significant part of Asia and Africa. It is operated by the Azerbaijani company Azercosmos and has transmission capabilities for TV, radio broadcasting and the internet.[8][9]

The satellite has an anticipated service life of 15 years.[10]


It is believed that the satellite cost of US$ 120 million and was established by Orbital Sciences Corporation.[11][12] Arianespace’s president Jean-Yves Le Gall emphasized that the weight of the satellite would be three tonnes.[13] In April 2011, Export-Import Bank of the United States has approved financing of this project as 85 percent of construction cost which will be provided to the Azerbaijani side in the form of a loan, while the remaining 15 percent will be paid by state funds.[14][15][16] The funds will be issued to Azercosmos OJSC.[17]

Satellite specifications[edit]

The satellite has solar arrays with four panels per array, using UTJ Gallium Arsenide cells. It will be stabilized with a 3-axis stabilized, zero momentum system. It will have a liquid bi-propellant transfer orbit system, with a monopropellant (hydrazine) on-orbit system. Power will be held in two Li-Ion batteries with a capacity of >4840 W/hr.

Azerspace-1/Africasat-1A has a hybrid payload including both C- band and Ku-band antennae. There will be 24 active C-band transponders, using a 2.5 m × 2.7 m (8 ft 2 in × 8 ft 10 in) single shell super-elliptical deployable reflector, with a 1.4 m × 1.4 m (4 ft 7 in × 4 ft 7 in) single shell super-elliptical deck-mounted reflector. There will also be 12 active Ku-band transponders, using a 2.5 m × 2.7 m (8 ft 2 in × 8 ft 10 in) single shell super-elliptical deployable reflector.

The Ku-band transponders (11.2 GHz and 14.0 GHz) have a contour map that primarily covers Europe and Central Asia. The C-band contour map (3740 MHz and 5965 MHz) also covers Europe and Central Asia, as well as nearly all of Africa.[18][19]


The satellite based on Orbital’s flight-proven STAR-2 platform and generates approximately five kilowatts of payload power for 36 active transponders.[20] Upon completion of in-orbit testing, operational control of the satellite was handed over to Azerbaijan’s Ministry of Communications and IT, and since October, 2017 Azercosmos OJSCo controls Azerspace-1 independently.


The satellite's operations are controlled by a state-run company, Azercosmos, owned by the Government of Azerbaijan[21] Azerspace-1/Africasat-1A is a joint venture between Azerbaijan and satellite fleet operator MEASAT Satellite Systems of Malaysia, which owns the rights to the orbital slot at 46 degrees east longitude,[18] and which will be using about 40 percent of the satellite’s total capacity. Azerbaijan uses 20 percent, with the remaining capacity to be available for other customers.[22]

As of 2014, satellite carries 13 radio stations and 128 television channels, mostly free to air, in addition to its services to the government.[23] As of 2018, the satellite carries around 100 TV and radio channels, mostly free to air, in addition to its services to the government.[24]

Follow-on activities[edit]

The launch of its own satellite inaugurated Azerbaijan's space industry.[25][26] In April 2011, deputy director of the Azerbaijan National Aerospace Agency Tofig Suleymanov hinted that Azerbaijan had plans to launch a second satellite to study the Earth's interior and atmosphere in 2014.[27][28][29] On 26 November 2011, the head of Azercosmos, Rashad Nabiyev, reported that the launch of the second satellite was expected to occur in 2015.[30][31]

As of January 2018, Azercosmos plans to launch its second telecommunication satellite, Azerspace-2, in mid-2018, to provide broadband and broadcast services to customers in Europe, the Middle East, Sub-Saharan Africa, and Central and South Asia.[32] The satellite is planned to be equipped with 35 transponders in Ku-band, and will be located at 45° East longitude. The lifespan of Azerspace-2 is expected to be 15 years.[33][34]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Krebs, Gunter. "Azerspace/Africasat 1a". Gunter's Space Page. Retrieved 31 October 2013. 
  2. ^ McDowell, Jonathan. "Launch Log". Jonathan's Space Page. Retrieved 31 October 2013. 
  3. ^ "AZERSPACE 1 Satellite details 2013-006B NORAD 39079". N2YO. 29 October 2013. Retrieved 31 October 2013. 
  4. ^ "MEASAT in final lap for satellite launch next week". Business Times. 2 February 2013. Archived from the original on 13 April 2013. Retrieved 12 February 2013. 
  5. ^ "Arianespace signs deal to launch Azerbaijani satellite". Archived from the original on 8 November 2010. Retrieved 5 November 2010. 
  6. ^ "Azerbaijan signs deal with Arianespace to launch satellite". Retrieved 5 November 2010. 
  7. ^ Orbital Contracted to Build Azerbaijan’s First Satellite
  8. ^ Baku developing satellite to kick off national space program
  9. ^ Mohney, Doug. "New Oil Money Fueling Modest Space Dreams and Political Heartburn". Retrieved 3 June 2011. 
  10. ^ "Baku Reaches For The Stars: Azerbaijan Launches First Satellite". February 7, 2013. Retrieved 8 February 2013. 
  11. ^ Азербайджан запустит в космос первый спутник связи (in Russian)
  12. ^ Kucera, Joshua. "Azerbaijan: Baku's Satellite Deal Sends Armenian Diaspora Groups into Orbit". Archived from the original on 14 May 2011. Retrieved 8 May 2011. 
  13. ^ "Azerbaijan Communications Ministry prepares to sign a contract for 100 percent insurance of national satellite". abc,az. Archived from the original on 3 October 2011. Retrieved 5 November 2010. 
  14. ^ "US Ex-Im approves loan for construction of Azerbaijani satellite Azerspace". Trend News Agency. Retrieved 29 April 2011. 
  15. ^ "Экспортно-Импортный Банк США выделит кредит на строительство спутника AzerSat". Archived from the original on 2 May 2011. Retrieved 29 April 2011. 
  16. ^ "Одобрен кредит для строительства азербайджанского спутника". Day,az. Retrieved 29 April 2011. 
  17. ^ "2012 state budget to increase funds to launch national satellite into orbit". Retrieved 23 November 2011. 
  18. ^ a b
  19. ^ "Azerspace/Africasat-1a coverages & footprints". Satlaunch. Retrieved 9 October 2011. 
  20. ^ "AZERBAIJAN'S FIRST SATELLITE TO BE LAUNCHED IN 2012". Embassy of Azerbaijan. Retrieved 2 August 2010. 
  21. ^ Azerspace
  22. ^
  23. ^ Selding, Peter. "Azerbaijan's Blueprint for a Domestic Space Industry Includes Global Competition for Optical Satellite". Retrieved 7 November 2014. 
  24. ^ Channel list
  25. ^ Meeting held to coordinate orbital slots for Azersat Archived May 11, 2011, at the Wayback Machine.
  26. ^ Азербайджан выведет в космос два спутника связи (in Russian)
  27. ^ "Второй азербайджанский спутник может быть выведен на орбиту в 2014 году". Archived from the original on 25 July 2011. Retrieved 18 May 2011. 
  28. ^ "Azerbaijan may launch another artificial satellite". Retrieved 29 April 2011. 
  29. ^ "Azerbaijani second satellite to be financed through internal funds". Retrieved 30 April 2011. 
  30. ^ "Azercosmos to launch Azerbaijan's second national satellite by 2015". Archived from the original on 4 March 2016. Retrieved 26 November 2011. 
  31. ^ "Azerbaijan set to launch second satellite into orbit in 2015". Retrieved 26 November 2011. 
  33. ^ Arianespace Selected to Launch Azerspace-2/Intelsat 38 Satellite at 45 Degrees East
  34. ^ “Azerspace-2” satellite to be launched in early 2018

External links[edit]