Azerbaijan and Iran have reached an agreement to jointly develop a satellite probing the Earth, Iranian Minister of Communications and Information Muhammad Javad Azeri Jahromi is reported to have said, according to news reports. Iran has also announced its intention to send its first cosmonaut into space in 2019.
Azercosmos Open Joint-Stock Company was established in May 2010 by the presidential decree with the purpose of implementing the launch, operation, and exploitation of telecommunication satellites of Azerbaijan. This is the first Caucasian satellite operator.
According to the results of 2017, the company’s revenues from commercial use amounted to $ 23 million. In January-June 2018, the satellite services were exported to 19 countries.
Azerbaijan’s Azercosmos OJSC operates satellites and other devices are used at different heights in order to support the country’s socio-economic development, commercial, scientific activities and for state purposes.
In December 2014, Azercosmos secured the rights to operate and commercialise Azersky, a high-resolution optical Earth observation satellite and entered into the commercial business of Earth observation services, including geo-information services. Azerbaijan’s revenue from the operation of Azersky is expected to exceed $200m within the next decade.
The company also manages two satellites Azerspace-1, launched in 2013, and Azerspace-2, launched more recently in September 2018.
This second telecommunications satellite of Azerbaijan was placed in a geostationary orbit 45 degrees east longitude and its service area covers Europe, Central and South Asia, the Middle East and Africa. The satellite has a 15-year lifespan. The new satellite, which is worth $190m, is projected to generate a revenue of $400m for Azerbaijan.