BUENOS AIRES – Argentine President Cristina Fernandez emphasized the importance of finalizing the project to place the first domestically manufactured satellite, ARSAT-1, into orbit.
The satellite will be shipped to French Guiana, from where it will be launched into orbit in October.
“What is ARSAT-1? The first geostationary satellite completely designed and tested in (Argentina). After eight years of research and development, ARSAT-1 was sent from Bariloche (in southwestern Argentina) to French Guiana to be launched into space,” Fernandez said in a Twitter post.
“There are not more than eight countries in the world with the ability to manufacture geostationary satellites of the size of ARSAT-1,” Fernandez said.
“Argentina joins the select ‘club’ of countries that produce this type of satellite: USA, Russia, China, Japan, Israel, India and the Eurozone,” the president said.
ARSAT-1 will offer digital television, Internet and telephone services, among other things, for Argentina and the rest of the Americas, and the government plans to continue to manufacture new satellites in the future.
ARSAT-1 was officially dispatched to French Guiana on Saturday in Bariloche, a city in Rio Negro province, where Cabinet chief Jorge Capitanich presided at an official ceremony.
The construction of the satellite, which is scheduled to be launched during the first half of October on board an Ariane 5 rocket, is a point of “national pride,” Capitanich said.