San José, Costa Rica, since 1956
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Costa Rica’s first satellite to be launched into space in 2016

The Central American Aeronautics and Space Administration (ACAE) on Monday officially announced that the first Central American satellite, built in Costa Rica, will be launched into space in 2016.

The satellite will collect and relay daily data on carbon dioxide to evaluate the effects of climate change.

That data will be sent to monitoring bases in tropical forests at the Santa Rosa National Park in Costa Rica’s northwestern province of Guanacaste.

Information will then be broadcast to another base station at labs operated by the Technological Institute of Costa Rica (ITCR) for analysis and processing.

The project was declared of public interest by an executive decree signed Monday by President Laura Chinchilla, who leaves office in May.

“The signing of this decree is an historic event for Costa Rica that will allow the country to position itself as an innovative nation. It is a message to the world that this country is still thinking big. This project will return our people the ability to dream,” ACAE President Carlos Alvarado said.

The device weighs less than 10 kilograms and technically is considered a miniature satellite, or picosatellite. It was developed over three years with help from ITCR experts and two Tico scientists, former NASA astronaut Franklin Chang Díaz and NASA engineer Sandra Cauffman, who also is assistant director of the MAVEN project, a mission currently studying the atmosphere of Mars.

The launch likely will take place outside of Costa Rica, which currently has no launch infrastructure.

“In order to launch the picosatellite, we could either hire a private service or sign a cooperation agreement with a space agency. We already have held conversations with South Korea and NASA,” Alvarado said.

Watch a video of the project, courtesy of ACAE, here:

Contact L. Arias at larias@ticotimes.net

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gee cee

Are you kidding me? This is so far down the list of a good way to spend money that isn’t there it’s crazy. And worrying about carbon emissions over the state of the roads and bridges reminds me of Nero fiddling while Rome burned.

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Ignace Hilsberg

right. if I understand the video a ground station records co2 levels and transmits data to
a satellite that relays it back to the ground. bit of rube goldberg way to get the data. but
it is all for the good cause of putting more people on the gravy train of global warming aka climate change aka end-of-the-world. the ignorance of our ruling classes never ceases to amaze.

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