Wednesday 5 October 2022

Franklin Chang-Díaz urges presidential signature for Space Agency law

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05 October 2022 - At The Banks - BCCR

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QCOSTARCIA – On February 19, the Legislative Assembly approved in a second debate the creation of the Costa Rican Space Agency (AEC). However, the law promoted by the legislator of the Partido Liberacion Nacional (PLN), Aida Montiel, has been the subject of criticism.

Franklin Ramón Chang Díaz is a Costa Rican American mechanical engineer, physicist and former NASA astronaut.

But this Wednesday the retired scientist and former NASA astronaut, Franklin Chang-Díaz, assured that this new entity is necessary for the well-being of the country. That is why he urged president Carlos Alvarado to sign the law instead of vetoing it.

“The project, launched in 2019, catapults our country to the front and center of the space age with unimaginable opportunities for our youth and future generations in new industries and skills of immense value to our economy.

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“In a few days we will reach that crossroads and our country must be prepared to play the role that corresponds to it with the appropriate instruments. The Space Agency is one of them. It is necessary. We must not back down. The law should not be vetoed,” Chang pointed out through social networks.

Posted on Facebook March, 20, 2021

For the founder of the Ad Astra Rocket space company,  the AEC can be implemented in a “responsible” way.

The former astronaut assures that “with a small human team that operates both with agility and ownership”, the new institution could promote an increase in Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) in the country.

As an example of this, he highlighted the incursion of the aerospace industry company, Leolabs, in Costa Rica. Precisely, this satellite population mapping and monitoring service provider announced in July 2020 its arrival in Costa Rica.

“A crisis should not be wasted. The Space Agency is necessary to sign agreements and open doors, especially to our youth. No law is perfect. The most important thing is to move forward.

Chang recalled the phrase “for what tractors without violins?” of former president José Figueres Ferrer, in 1972, during the delivery of instruments to the National Symphony Orchestra at a time when the country was in the middle of an economic crisis.

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Chang added that, in 1958, the creation of the United States Space Agency (NASA) was severely questioned. This because the United States was mired in a recession after World War II.

However, a decade later, it managed to place the first human being on the moon.

During the last two weeks, criticism of this initiative increased after its approval. These are focused on financing the new institution.


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