On June 7, during the Review program on 168 TV, referring to the director of the Byurakan Observatory Areg Mikayelyan, political analyst Karen Kocharyan insisted that Armenia “has nothing to do” with the ARMSAT 1 satellite, which was recently launched into Earth orbit.
“We sent [a satellite] with which Armenia has nothing to do. At least experts say that. I did not say such a thing. But he did announce that…The director of the Byurakan observatory announced that. I listen to specialists, unlike our authorities,” Kocharyan said.
The Fact Investigation Platform has combined the data on the first Armenian space satellite in open and official sources to check the veracity of the above-mentioned assertion.
What did the director of the Byurakan Observatory say?
At the May 26 sitting of the Government, the Prime Minister of the Republic of Armenia Nikol Pashinyan announced that on May 25 Armenia’s first space satellite was launched to the orbit of the planet Earth from the Cape Canaveral Florida by SpaceX spacecraft. The Prime Minister also said that all the decisions on the launch of the satellite were made in secret, “due to some considerations”.
“This happened as a result of cooperation between the Armenian state-owned Geocosmos CJSC and the Spanish company SATLANTIS,” Pashinyan said.
Political analyst Karen Kocharyan referred to Areg Mikayelyan’s comment to RFE/RL the day after the announcement of the satellite launch. The director of the observatory noted in his comment that “the information about the Armenian space satellite is not complete enough to get too excited”.
“On the one hand, they say it is an Armenian satellite, but to call it Armenian, I would first like to know if we have all the control and access to data. Most likely not, meaning that it is a hasty announcement …” Mikayelyan said.
In fact, Mikaelyan did not claim that Armenia has nothing to do with the satellite, but noted that in the face of limited information about the satellite, he considers it possible that Armenia does not control it and has a problem with access to data.
“Probably… Of course, I will not insist yet, let’s not hurry, but it can not happen so suddenly. It cannot suddenly turn out that Armenia has a satellite …”, Mikayelyan concluded.
Thus, Karen Kocharyan’s assertion that the director of the Byurakan Observatory stated that Armenia has nothing to do with the space satellite launched on May 25 does not correspond to reality.
Does Armenia have anything to do with the satellite?
Following the announcement of the launch of the Armenian satellite, a number of skeptical or denying allegations were made․ There are also many manipulations and speculations on the Internet and in the media.
Some of them were also discussed in detail by our partners at CivilnetCheck.
However, in a June 6 statement released by the Spanish company SATLANTIS, a number of important pieces of information about the first Armenian satellite became known, which mainly refer to the circumstances that gave rise to suspicion or false allegations.
In particular, it is mentioned in the statement that after the successful launch of the satellite from Cape Canaveral, USA, an agreement was signed with the Armenian state company “Geocosmos”, according to which the company will be provided a complete Earth observation system.
“We are proud to launch our Urdaneta satellite, known as Armsat-1, which is the first Armenian strategic satellite,” the statement reads.
The statement also says that after a successful launch, the first Armenian satellite is in good condition and ready to do its work for the next 4 years, and the first results will be presented during the 6th STARMUS Festival to be held in Yerevan on September 5-11.
Thus, SATLANTIS refutes the claims that the satellite does not belong to Armenia, is not controlled by Armenia or the country does not have access to it.