Space in Azerbaijan
Although the space industry of Azerbaijan is just emerging, the roots of our space activities go back to as far as the 13th century. Let us take a journey down the memory lane and reflect on the main milestones of the emergence and establishment of space industry in Azerbaijan.
The Maragha Observatory, a widely recognized regional scientific hub of the time, was established by Nasraddin Tusi, a prominent Azerbaijani astronomer, scientist, and thinker. He was at the origins of space activities in Azerbaijan by making an immense contribution to the scientific exploration of space through his prolific research in the fields of astronomy and physics.
Named after Tusi, the Shamakhi Astrophysical Observatory, established in 1959, follows through on the significant work in space research and helps to investigate the solar system bodies, study the solar and stellar physics, and solar-terrestrial relations.
Karim Karimov, the Azerbaijani mastermind behind the Soviet Space Program, was appointed as the Chairman of the State Commission on Piloted Flights that he headed for 25 years.
A milestone year for Azerbaijan’s space industry as the 24th International Astronautical Congress under the theme “Space Research: Influence on Science and Technology” was held in Baku, the only city in the region that hosted this prominent event, leaving a fundamental legacy for the space industry of Azerbaijan.
Musa Manarov, an Azerbaijani astronaut and space engineer born in Baku, flew into space aboard Soyuz TM-4 crewed spaceship as a flight engineer. Later, in 1990, he participated in his second space mission on Soyuz TM-11.
Azercosmos was founded as the first and only satellite operator in the Caucasus region, becoming the main leading force behind the development of innovative space ecosystem in Azerbaijan.
Azerspace-1 telecommunication satellite – the first-ever satellite of Azerbaijan – was successfully launched into the orbit.
Azersky Earth observation satellite was successfully launched into the orbit.
Azerspace-2 telecommunication satellite was successfully launched into the orbit.
At the General Assembly of the International Astronautical Federation in Washington, D.C, Baku was selected as the host city of the International Astronautical Congress 2023.
By a Presidential decree, Azercosmos was transformed into the Space Agency of the Republic of Azerbaijan.