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Venezuela in Space





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On November 1, 2005, the Venezuelan Ministry of Science and Technology and China Great Wall Industry Corp. (CGWIC) signed a contract for the in-orbit delivery of Venezuela Communications Satellite (VeneSat-1). On October 30, 2008, an LM-3B/E launch vehicle successfully launched VeneSat-1 from Xichang Satellite Launch Center. The satellite, two ground stations respectively located in Bamari and Luepa, Venezuela, and a teleport located in Bamari were successfully handed over to the customer on December 1, 2008.

VENESAT-1 has a planned life of 12-15 years (180 months on the outside) and required an investment of U$240 million in manufacture and launch -- paid to China Great Wall Industry Corp. and another U$150 million in infrastructure like technical training and ground equipment in Venezuela.

VeneSat-1 is CGWIC's first satellite in-orbit delivery contract signed with a Latin American customer, and also marks the first space cooperation project between China and Venezuela. The VeneSat-1 Communications Satellite was designed and manufactured by China Academy of Space Technology (CAST). It is a communications satellite based on the DFH-4 satellite platform, and is fitted with 28 transponders, including 14 C-band, 12 Ku-band and 2 Ka-band transponders. To meet the complicated coverage requirements, VeneSat-1 is fitted with four shaped communication antennas covering South America and the Caribbean. The lift-off mass of VeneSat-1 is about 5050kg. Its end-of-life power exceeds 7.75 KW and the satellite has a service life span of 15 years.

Minister of Science and Technology Nuris Orihuela declared to the most influential Spanish newspaper, El País, that VENESAT-1is "a socialist satellite" , or as reported in Venezuela's state news agency ABN, the satellite will "serve for the construction of socialism".

The Bolivarian Agency for Space Activities, which is Venezuela's space agency, became a member of the International Charter on Space and Major Disasters, a non-binding agreement aiming to provide a unified system of space data acquisition and delivery to those affected by natural or man-made disasters, on 20 October 2016.

"Today's meeting and joining the Charter of colleagues from Venezuela are important events for international cooperation of space agencies and space system operators, interested in the free use of satellite resources to deal with emergency situations," Roscosmos deputy head Sergey Saveliev said as quoted in the statement. Venezuela became the 16th member of the Charter. It also includes Roscosmos, space agencies of France, Germany, Brazil, Britain, Canada, India, China, Korea, Japan and Venezuela, as well as other organizations from around the world.

China launched a remote sensing VRSS-2 satellite for Venezuela on 09 October 2017 from the Jiuquan Satellite Launch Center in country’s northwestern Gobi desert, media reported. The satellite was launched at 12:13 local time [04:13 GMT] by China’s Long March-2D carrier rocket. It was the third satellite jointly launched by Beijing and Caracas. The VRSS-2 will also be used by Venezuela mainly for environmental protection and disaster monitoring, as well as land resources inspection, crop yield estimation and city planning, according to the media.

In 2008, the first Venezuelan communications satellite called the Venesat-1, or "Simon Bolivar" was launched, while a second one, the remote sensing satellite VRSS-1, was launched into space by Beijing in 2012.

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