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Paraguay to launch first satellite

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Paraguay to launch first satellite

Screen Shot 2021 02 19 at 10 00 12 AM
Paolo Nespoli/ESA/NASA

Paraguay, which is attempting to start its own space exploration program, will launch its first satellite today from the US’s Wallops Flight Facility in Virginia.

The satellite was developed in collaboration with the Paraguayan Space Agency (AEP) and the Kyushu Technological Institute in Japan. It will assist in the monitoring of natural disasters in Paraguay, including floods and fires. The cost, approximately $400,000, is expected to dwarf the benefits that the development of a nascent space sector could have on the economy. However, the AEP has signaled that this is the first step in the development of space capacities in the country.

Paraguay’s investment in its satellite and space capability is part of a longer-term bet that the industry could develop into a sector with additional opportunities for economic growth and employment. Two stations, designed to receive information from the satellite, have already been built in the country. The information is likely to be used to increase capacities in the agricultural sector and to respond to changing demands caused by climate change.

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Photo: Wikipedia / CC

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