YEREVAN — The first Armenian satellite is operational and has already made images from space, the Armenian Deputy Minister of High Tech-Industry Gevorg Mantashyan said at a press conference within the framework of STARMUS VI.

The satellite was launched into orbit as a result of cooperation between the Armenian state Geocosmos company and the Spanish Satlantis.

Satlantis CEO Juan Tomas Hernani was also present at the news conference.

“The satellite is working, we have images, but we don’t think that there is a need to voice about it now. We have reasons. We know that the satellite is working, we know that it is functioning. Those who work with the project know this,” Mantashyan said.

Asked if Armenia plans to launch CubeSats, Mantashyan said that the High-Tech Industry Ministry’s strategy isn’t yet fully confirmed, but he noted that the ministry’s priorities are being clarified during STARMUS itself.

“Such projects require conditions, we must create such conditions for cubesats,” Mantashyan said.

Satlantis CEO Hernani said that there is a long-term action plan.

“The first step has already been made, the satellite was launched into space. We do the planned actions every week because space activities imply moving by a concrete timetable. After the first step we have long-term plans, the next step will be the creation of a factory of Armenian-made satellites. It is clear that these long-term and major programs should be combined with involvement of data and resources,” Hernani said.

As part of the project Armenian students will travel to Spain for training. Analytical projects on Armenia-based satellite control will also be implemented.

“We see that there are various initiatives and its source is from Armenia, but this is a long-term project and we must be patient, industry has awakened once again, because although Armenia had space-grade optical and electronic projects and capacity, the sector was in a sleeping mode for some time, it must be awakened,” Hernani said.

The Satlantis CEO said they’ve decided to come to Armenia and work here because they see the potential.

The data control, downlink and processing capacities will take place in Armenia.

Karen Khachatryan

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