The isolated ex-Soviet state Turkmenistan is planning to set up its own space agency, according to official newspaper Neutral Turkmenistan.

The agency aims to ensure the implementation of scientific achievements in the national economy and to supervise future space exploration, said a decree signed by President Gurbanguly Berdymukhammedov.

Berdymukhamedov said a national satellite would boost the development of the country's communications network, Internet and television, contribute to the implementation of ecological programs and improve the exploration of energy resources, according to the report.

The official decree made no mention of future space flights by Turkmen astronauts.

To this point, Turkmenistan's greatest contribution to the galaxy was when its eccentric former ruler, Saparmurat Niyazov, sent a copy of his spiritual guide Rukhnama into space via a Russian rocket launched from the Baikonur cosmodrome located in neighboring Kazakhstan.