Home >> News: October 15th, 2013 >> Story
Satnews Daily
October 15th, 2013

Bolivia + China—Built In China, To Be Launched In China (Satellite)

Artistic impression of the
Tupac Katari satellite
[SatNews] Xinhuanet is reporting that a Bolivian delegation will travel to China to witness the December 20th launch of the country's China-built "Tupac Katari" telecommunications satellite, Bolivian President Evo Morales announced.

Morales told a press conference in La Paz that he may attend the launch. "The ministers have asked me to head the delegation to China, but it's not definitive yet," he said. "The launch date can vary by two or three days, depending on the weather in that country, so we are still consulting."

Chinese Ambassador to Bolivia, Li Dong ,has extended an invitation to the Bolivian delegation, the Ministry of Public Works said. Morales said he observed the installation of the satellite's antennas in Amachuma, La Paz, and the advanced step showed "our communication satellite is now a reality."

According to the director of the Bolivian Space Agency (BSA), the satellite is 90 percent complete. Morales added that he was "very pleased about it." Morales called on his ministers of Communication, Health and Education to continue working to make the most of the satellite in their respective fields.

So far, the government has installed 1,000 transmission centers in the country's most remote communities to bring Internet access to residents there. Once the satellite is in operation, communication costs in Bolivia should drop. The head of state added Bolivia plans to bolster its communication with South American neighbors through sharing the satellite's benefits regionally.

"We hope the experts will continue to provide us with guidance, so this satellite can serve to integrate all of South America," he affirmed.

Morales said he also hopes that an exploratory satellite will be launched one day to provide data on national territory and natural resources. According to the BSA, the satellite will be launched from northwest China's Jiuquan Space Center.

The 300 million-U.S.-dollar, 5.2-ton Tupac Katari satellite, financed by the China Development Bank and the Bolivian government, is designed to expand television, Internet and mobile telephone services to rural Bolivia from its orbit 36,000km above the earth, and has a life expectancy of 15 years.