With Thales Alenia Space the prime contractor, on behalf of the Turkmenistan Ministry of Communications, the TurkmenAlem52E/MonacoSAT telecommunications satellite was successfully launched from Cape Canaveral in Florida.
Once in service, the satellite 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, weighed 4.7 metric tons at launch and offers a design life exceeding 16 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 System International - Monaco (SSI).
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 the satellite, received intensive training from Thales Alenia Space engineers to ensure trouble-free satellite operation.
TurkmenAlem52E/MonacoSAT is Thales Alenia Space's first satellite in orbit to use a component made by the additive manufacturing process, also known as 3D printing, namely the T&C antenna horn mounting strut. In addition, it is the first satellite made by Thales Alenia Space to feature ‘flexible’ traveling wave tube amplifiers (TWTA).