Saturday, 21 December 2013


A small replica of the Tupak Katari was taken to the main square in La Paz

Bolivia launches its first satellite from China


At 12h42 local (16h42 GMT) on Friday Bolivia, as planned, Bolivia I entered the space, science and technology was to launch the Tupac Katari satellite telecommunications (TKSAT-1) from the Chinese province of Sichuan.

The device in question weighs five thousand 500 kilos, is 2.5 meters tall and 3.6 side. The total length with deployed panels is 28 meters. It was built with titanium, steel and aluminum. Is coupled to the tip of LM-3RA rocket.

It is expected that the satellite "Tupac Katari" (TKSAT-1) appears from the launcher and its solar panels deployed 25 minutes after ignition . Reach its final stationary orbit (36,000 km altitude) in about two weeks and will start operating in March 2014.

According to the technical information released by the Bolivian Space Agency (ABE), the satellite will be finally placed in geostationary orbit (synchronized with the Earth) at 36,000 miles above the Earth Ecuador, 87.2 degrees west longitude.

The Tupac Katari has 30 channels and operate on three frequencies. The first will be used to cover much of Bolivia in internet services, the second will cover radio and communication and the third will be used to rent different types of transmissions to neighboring countries.

Thus, Bolivia will join the eight nations of South America that have satellites like Brazil (with 11 devices), Argentina (10), Mexico (7), Venezuela (2) Colombia (2) Chile (3) and Ecuador (1).

Uruguay will launch theirs in the first quarter of 2014 and Paraguay still develop a national program to achieve this technological breakthrough.

The idea that Bolivia has a satellite was born in 2009, when President Evo Morales told his cabinet to take steps for the project.

Within hours of the release, Morales reiterated that the satellite will be a means for the liberation of peoples .

"It is a first experience for Bolivia communication satellite is a technological leap have a place in space is a huge thrill for the Bolivian people, but we are also convinced that the satellite communication Tupac Katari is a means of communication information for liberation of our peoples, "he said.

The Tupac Katari satellite will be used to provide telecommunications services to remote rural areas of the country, where people currently have no access to television, fixed and mobile telephony and the Internet. In the education and health fields will enter the telehealth and tele-education, and radiating the light of knowledge to improve the standard of living and close the digital divide.

Bolivian crowds cheer Tupak Katari satellite launch


People in Bolivia have been celebrating the launch of the country's first telecommunications satellite.

Cheering crowds gathered in front of big television screens in La Paz to watch the rocket carrying the satellite blast off from a base in China.

The satellite is named Tupak Katari, after an indigenous hero who fought Spanish colonial rule.

Bolivia is one of the last countries in South America to have its own satellite.

President Evo Morales, who was in China for the launch, said it would end Bolivia's dependence on foreign powers for its communications.

"This will be our light, after living for so many years in the obscurity, the suffering and the domination of the empires," said Mr Morales.

The launch took place at 12:42 Bolivian time (16:42 GMT) from Xichang Satellite Launch Centre in China's southwest Sichuan province.

From the early hours of Friday morning, huge crowds began to gather at the central square in La Paz.

Before the launch, which was shown on national television, indigenous leaders performed ceremonies to Pachamama, or Mother Earth.

The satellite, also known as Tksat-1, cost $302m (£185m) and was financed by the China Development Bank.

It will reach its orbit over the Equator in about 10 days and will be fully operational in March, said Bolivian Space Agency director Ivan Zambrana.

The device, weighing more than 5.2 tonnes, will speed up and improve the quality of telephone and internet connections in Bolivia.

"It will enable us to check the composition of the soil and produce an inventory of our natural resources. It will also be used to monitor urban growth and help agriculture," Mr Zambrana told La Razon newspaper.

Indigenous religious leaders performed rituals ahead of the satellite launch

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