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Venezuela, China team up to develop EO satellite

Caracas, Venezuela: Venezuela’s National Assembly endorsed a new satellite contract programme with China, the second such bilateral project between the two countries. The contract aims to develop Earth observation (EO) satellite, VRSS-1.

According to the notification in Venezuela’s official gazette, this programme is collaboration between Venezuela’s Ministry for Science, Technology and Intermediate Industries and China Great Wall Industry Corporation. Venezuela’s National Development Fund will contribute 140 million US dollars to the project.

Through VRSS-1, the Venezuelan State aims to monitor earthquakes, floods, heavy rains, assessment of desertification and loss of agricultural land, illegal mining, displacement of military forces, etc. The State will also use it in mapping and analysis of regional and urban patterns of land use.

Vice President (VP) of the Commission of Science, Technology and Innovation, Giovanni Peña said that the satellite can observe the earth and the phenomena that take place from different angles, predict the occurrence of events or contingencies that are relevant for all forms of life on the planet and especially in the Southern Hemisphere.

In addition, Giovanni stressed that it should be noted that this proposal will also make possible to observe the movements of the crust, provide for emergencies such as consequences of rainfall, occurrence of disasters as a result of drought and excessive heat. “We are targeting in these cases of public security in their respective territories,” Giovanni continued.

On Oct. 29, 2008, China launched the jointly built telecommunication satellite Venesat-1 — also dubbed “Simon Bolivar” — from Chinese soil, making Venezuela the 4th Latin American country which owns a satellite after Mexico, Brazil and Argentina.

Source: Venezuela Assembly & Xinhua