September 23, 2008

Colombia Plans to Launch Two Satellites By 2010

Colombia plans to launch two satellites by 2010

MEXICO CITY, Sept. 21 (Xinhua) -- Colombia plans to launch its first communication satellite and an anti-drug surveillance satellite by 2010, said Colombian Vice President Francisco Santos, quoted by the Time daily of Bogota Sunday.

Santos said that the Colombian government intended to launch its first communication satellite before 2010, and projected to increase the number of communication ones and expand covering areas in the future.

The intelligence satellite would mainly monitor drug planting like coca, and provide information for military operations and agriculture production, the vice president added

When owning a surveillance satellite, the Colombian military could easily find the positions and shifts of rebel forces and conduct military strikes against them, Santos said.

He confirmed that Colombia has established a special team for satellite research and development, striving for independent capabilities of designing, manufacturing and launching satellites. However, the two satellites projected to be launched are purchased overseas.

The local press said that the government would charge satellite pictures and information users to cover the budget of satellite acquisitions.

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