javier mendieta Space Agency chief Javier Mendieta.

Agency wants satellites by 2018

Space agency chief cites need for control over telecommunications, monitoring

Mexico should have its own, domestically-built satellites in orbit by 2018, says the director general of the Mexican Space Agency, Javier Mendieta.

The agency will seek additional federal funding totaling some 3 billion pesos over three years to manufacture and launch the satellites, which will give the country autonomy over telecommunications and monitoring.

Mendieta said in an interview that the economic resources required in the manufacture of the satellites will generate a return in terms of lives saved through the ability to predict natural weather occurrences.

They also have a key role to play in natural resources conservation and national security. “In these aspects we need to have control over the images that satellites provide and at present we get them from satellites that are not ours,” said Mendieta.

Observation of forest cover and other natural resources, monitoring weather systems and conducting scientific research are among other benefits.

Space infrastructure plans were included for the first time in the National Development Plan for 2013-2018.

Source: El Universal (sp)

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