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Private U.S. Rocket to Launch Turkmen Satellite in 2014

ASHGABAT — The U.S. ambassador to Turkmenistan said Tuesday that the Central Asian nation will launch its first ever telecommunication satellite on a private, U.S.-made SpaceX craft in late 2014.

Robert Patterson said at the Turkmen-American business forum in the capital of the energy-rich former Soviet state, Ashgabat, that the U.S. was eager to help the natural gas-rich nation in all spheres of development.

The satellite is expected to be launched aboard a Falcon 9 rocket.

Turkmenistan has already reached an agreement with French company Thales Alenia Space to design and build the satellite.

Technicians from Turkmenistan's National Space Agency, which was created in 2011, are currently undergoing training at Thales Alenia Space plants.

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