Argentina Space Facilities
Argentina ’s National Committee of Space Activities lead by Conrado Varotto has renewed its plans to finish the development of a small satellite launch vehicle that is intended to serve government, commercial interest and previous military requirements. The new launch vehicle based on the Condor-II (Badr-2000) technology is expected to be ready for small satellite launches as a commercial business satellite launch vehicle after its first flight tests optimistically planned for 2013.
The booster development program is being controlled under the management of the CONAE [Committee of Activities Space] engineering team and researchers. All the propulsion technologies, control systems and guidance are being developed by Argentine based industry capability. Argentina want the ability to launch its own satellites without having to depend on other nations as well as provide commercial business capability as desired by regional countries. Argentina believes it can launch its satellites at a quarter of the present international rates.
Launch Site Infrastructure
Puerto Belgrano , Argentina ’s Military Base
The Condor- III SLV/BM is to have its launch infrastructure and pads located on the Puerto Belgrano, Argentina ’s sprawling military base as it was during the Condor program development.
This renewed Argentine space booster ballistic missile capability is also intended to bolster its so called defense capability that has long been sought by its military. The use of space program launch vehicle development as a back door to ballistic missile development is apparent like some other rogue countries. This could be an ominous development for this region of South America that up to now had been avoided. Argentina is also known to have renewed nuclear processing work at its available facilities but to what extent and what end remains uncertain but it is being monitored. How the debt burdened Argentine economy can afford to support and finance such space booster, ballistic missile and satellite development programs remain a great mystery to be investigated.
Satellite Tracking and Control are performed at the Mission Operations and Control Center (MOCC) at Teófilo Tabanera Space Center in Falda del Carmen.
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