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article imageFormer Soviet state of Turkmenistan to form own space agency

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By Andrew Moran     May 31, 2011 in Politics
Ashgabat - The President of the former Soviet state of Turkmenistan, Gurbanguly Berdymukhammedov, announced that the country is looking to form its own space agency. The presidential decree did not say who would head the agency.
Turkmenistan, located north of Afghanistan and Iran and south of Uzbekistan and Kazakhstan in Central Asia, is an energy-rich nation, specifically in the areas of oil and gas. In 2004, former President Saparmurat Niyazov sent a container into space with the nation’s flag and a book authored by the ex-leader, “Ruhnama.”
On Tuesday, Turkmenistan President Gurbanguly Berdymukhammedov told local reporters during a press conference that the ex-Soviet state will establish its own space agency with a presidential decree, according to the Associated Press.
The Berdymukhammedov’s decree stated, notes Agence-France Presse, that the purpose of the space agency is “to ensure the implementation of scientific achievements in the national economy and to supervise future space exploration.”
Turkmenistan President Gurbanguly Berdimuhammedov.
Turkmenistan President Gurbanguly Berdimuhammedov.
Official White House Photo by Lawrence Jackson
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The decree was later published in the state-run Neutral Turkmenistan, but it did not identify who would be in charge or head of the future space agency.
It was also noted that the nation is in dire need of infrastructure spending to assist in building and enhancing satellites, reports Radio Free Europe Radio Liberty. It has been reported that the government is in negotiations with partners to develop its first telecommunications satellite for its Internet and television network.
The president added that its own national satellite would improve the search for energy resources and help contribute to the implementation of various ecological initiatives.
Earlier this month, Vice-President of SpaceX, a space transportation company located in the United States, announced that it will launch a satellite for Turkmenistan in the year 2014.
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