Thursday, February 11, 2010


This Wednesday, February 10th, the Bolivian Space Agency was born in order for Bolivia to launch its own national satellite, the Tupac Katari, that will cost up to $300 million dollars that Bolivia plans to borrow from China who will be launching the satellite

according to Minister of Public Works, Services, & Homes Walter Delgadillo Terceros. 

The Bolivian Space Agency was created under President Evo Morales' supreme decree 423 and Degadillo said, "This is very important for Bolivia to improve its communication systems and promote the development of agricultural production, education, health and detection of natural phenominons." The government will be spending an initial one million dollars on the satellite project and hopes to garner international loans and aid. The ABE will have its own budget and administration within the Bolivian government. Delgadillo explained, "The ABE will be a national party to implement the construction and financing of a Bolivian satellite with China performing the space launch and orbital installment. ABE will be responsible for executing the project to put satellite Tupac Katari into orbit  and also developing other satellite programs to benefit the country." 

The Tupac Katari Satellite may cost Bolivia up to $300 million dollars, or roughly six times the annual amount spent on all public education for Bolivian children annually.  The Chinese government has agreed to provide up to $300 million dollars of financing as part of a 2009 agreement that would put Bolivia deeply in debt to China.  President Morales has a visit planned to Beijing in the second half of March to sign the accord that would put plans under way to launch Tupac Katari within 36 months. The Bolivian Spae Agency will be located in La Paz. Technical commissions from both China and Bolivia met in La Paz and Santa Cruz in January to work on the preliminary satellite designs.  The Satellite is named after indigenous hero Tupac Katari who led a popular uprising against the Spanish that almost saw them expelled from the region until armies came from Argentina and defeated the rebellion.

To learn more in Spanish see:

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