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Bolivia readies satellite launch

April 3, 2013

By Chris Forrester

Later this year, Bolivia expects its first satellite to be launched. The so-called ‘Túpac Katari’ project involved an investment of $300 million and includes the construction, launching and orbit placement of the satellite, in addition to the setting-up of ground stations in La Paz and Santa Cruz, and space-technology training for local professionals.

Túpac Katari’ will be supplied and launched by China’s Great Wall rocket system, and it was China which supplied much of the funding for the project. Bolivia’s Space Institute says the satellite is expected to earn about $40 million a year although the bulk of this will go to China’s Development Bank which has loaned Bolivia $251 million towards the overall cost of the project.

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