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Photos: SpaceX Rocket to Launch 1st Satellite for Turkmenistan

SpaceX Falcon 9 Rocket Rises into the Sky, April 27, 2015


SpaceX's Falcon 9 rocket rises into the skies above Florida’s Cape Canaveral Air Force Station on April 27, 2015, carrying the first-ever satellite for the Central Asian nation of Turkmenistan.

SpaceX Launches Turkmenistan's First Satellite


This screenshot from a webcast shows SpaceX's Falcon 9 rocket blasting off on April 27, 2015, carrying the first-ever satellite for the Central Asian nation of Turkmenistan.

SpaceX Falcon 9 Rolls to Pad for Thales Mission

SpaceX (via Twitter as @SpaceX)

A SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket will launch the TurkmenAlem52E/MonacoSAT satellite into orbit for Turkmenistan and Thales Alenia Space on April 27, 2015. See the mission's ramp up in photos in our photo gallery here.

TurkmenAlem52E/MonacoSAT in Orbit


An artist's illustration depicts the TurkmenAlem52E/MonacoSAT, that will allow Turkmenistan to operate its first national satellite telecommunications system.

TurkmenAlem52E/MonacoSAT Arrives in Cape Canaveral, Florida


The TurkmenAlem52E/MonacoSAT telecommunications satellite traveled from Thales Alenia Space's Cannes plant on February 23, 2015, arriving at Cape Canaveral, Florida, on February 26. A SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket will launch the satellite in April 2015.

Thales Alenia Space as Prime Contractor


Thales Alenia Space led the satellite design and manufacture of TurkmenAlem52E/MonacoSAT as the prime contractor of the contract. The company also managed the manufacture of ground support equipment for the two satellite control stations, all associated services, provision of launch services and insurance.

Thales Alenia Space Ahead of Schedule


Thales Alenia Space produced the first Turkmenistan telecom satellite and got it ready to ship in just 27 months, more than four months ahead of the contractual deadline.

SpaceX Thales Mission Patch


SpaceX plans to launch a satellite for Thales Alenia Space on April 27, 2015, from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, Florida. The official patch is seen here.

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Tariq Malik

SPACE.COM EDITOR IN CHIEF — Tariq joined the team in 2001 as a staff writer, and later editor, covering human spaceflight, exploration and space science. He became's Managing Editor in 2009. Before joining, Tariq was a staff reporter for The Los Angeles Times. He is also an Eagle Scout (yes, he has the Space Exploration merit badge) and went to Space Camp four times as a kid and a fifth time as an adult. He has journalism degrees from the University of Southern California and New York University. To see his latest project, you can follow Tariq on Google+, Twitter and on Facebook.