Meeting with the NASA’s Administrator, Charles Bolden Jr., at the Argentine Embassy in Washington on the occasion of the fourth anniversary of the Sac-D/Aquarius satellite launching.
On June 1, the Argentine Embassy in Washington organized a special event attended by the NASA’s Administrator, Charles Bolden Jr, to commemorate the fourth anniversary of the Sac-D/Aquarius satellite launching from the Vandenberg Air Force Base, California, which took place on June 10, 2011. It has been a historic milestone for the bilateral cooperation between NASA and Argentina, as well as for the Argentine Space Program. For that reason, the day was declared as the “National Day of the Space Scientific and Technological Development” by the Argentine Congress.
The meeting brought together at the Argentine Embassy the NASA’s Administrator, Charles Bolden Jr., accompanied by his team members, with ambassadors, civil servants, NGOs, scholars and experts in the field. Eighty people attended the projection of two videos on the SAC-D/Aquarius launching and the recent launching of the ARSAT-1.
During the event, the Ambassador Cecilia Nahón highlighted “the significant progress made by the Argentine Space Program, a product of a national government policy of investment in science, technology and production growth aimed at getting concrete results that may improve people’s quality of life.” She pointed out that “between 2003 and 2013, the Argentine government invested over 3,400 million dollars in space projects.” The Ambassador also mentioned “the launching of the ARSAT-1, the first satellite of the Argentine Geostationary Telecommunications Satellite System, sent into orbit in October 2014, which is now providing a wide variety of telecommunication services for the whole Argentine territory and for bordering countries.” She emphasized that “we, Argentinians, take great pride in the outstanding performance of our country in this field, which has made Argentina one of the eight countries in the world that owns this technology.”
During his speech, Bolden expressed that “this mission represents a true international cooperation. It has been a historical cooperative success, through which Argentina and the NASA have contributed to a better understanding of climatic change and its impact on the earth and society.” He also highlighted that there were other areas of cooperation “in a shared effort to involve young generations in the study of sciences,” such as the “Global Learning Observation” program in which 163 educational institutions of our country participate.
As an astronaut, Bolden went into the outer space four times between 1986 and 1994. He was offered his current position by the US President in 2009 and visited Argentina on two occasions, finding “an incredible partner for cooperation, and great enthusiasm on the part of the President Cristina Fernández de Kirchner at the moment of the SAC-D/Aquarius launching.” He added that “our two countries share common interests in the space, and I celebrate with you our success… Our joint work, from the earth sciences to the outer space missions, including to the experiences on education, can improve people’s life.” He concluded that the SAC-D/Aquarius launching and operations were “an incredible mission, the jewel of the crown, a long period of close cooperation, with more than fifty agreements signed by both countries.”
This new meeting with Bolden is part of a continuous and fruitful policy of bilateral cooperation also reflected in his visit to our country in February 2015, in which he signed agreements between NASA and the Argentine National Space Activities Commission (CONAE, in Spanish), visited INVAP (Argentine state-owned applied research company) in San Carlos de Bariloche, participated in meetings with the Minister of Foreign Affairs, Héctor Timerman, and with the Minister of Federal Planning, Public Investment and Services, Julio De Vido, and delivered lectures in the cities of Buenos Aires and La Plata. During his visit in 2011, he also met with the President Cristina Fernández de Kirchner.