Costa Rica’s plans to launch its first satellite and the first in Central America, is moving forward with the goal of 2016 for a launch date.
With an investment of about US$1.5 million dollars, the “picosatellite” (mini satellite is about 10 cm – 4 inch – squared and with a mass of 1 kg – 2.2 lbs), the objective of the satellite is to reveal the real-time flow of carbon dioxide from Costa Rica’s tropical forests. Having the satellite will no longer require researches to visit the onsite towers to collect information.
The project, about 20% complete, took roots in the hands of the Asociación Centroamericana de Aeronáutica y del Espacio (ACAE), and with the support and participation of teachers of the Instituto Tecnológico de Costa Rica (TEC), with expertise in electronics, electromechanics, mechatronics and computer sciences.
“The advantage of this type of satellite is that it is very low cost and it allows emerging countries like Costa Rica can engage and develop their own missions,” says Alvarado Carlos Briceno , president of ACAE.
According to Alvarado, the goal is to show the world that the country has the ability to develop and lead in this kind of technology, which is low risk and allow Costa Rica to position itself in the global spectrum to attract investment.