The ARSAT-2, the second Argentine geostationary telecommunication satellite, left today at 5.31 p.m. from San Carlos de Bariloche International Airport to French Guiana, wherefrom it will be sent into orbit by the end of next September.
The satellite was shipped over by the Ukrainian airplane Antonov AN124, which had arrived yesterday at Bariloche’s airport. Before landing in Guyanese territory, it will make a stopover at Neuquén and another at Ezeiza’s International Airport to be refueled.
Several authorities were present at its departure, such as Mariana González, Secretary of Competitiveness, dependent on the National Ministry of Economy and Public Finances; Juan Forlón, President of the Banco de la Nación Argentina,Tristán Bauer, Director of Radio y Televisión Argentina S.E.; Norberto Berner, President of the Federal Authority on Information and Communications Technology; Alberto Wereltineck, Governor of the Province of Río Negro; María Eugenia Martini, Bariloche’s Mayor; Matías Bianchi, President of ARSAT S.A; Héctor Otheguy, General Manager of INVAP S.E. (Argentina state-owned applied research company); and Martín Doñate, legislator of the Province of Río Negro on behalf of the Frente para la Victoria, among others.
The workday started at 6 a.m. when the caravan carrying the ARSAT-2 from INVAP’s headquarters arrived at the local airport.
Asked about the expectations created by the new satellite, Matías Bianchi said: “It is ready to provide services to all Latin America; from now on, Argentina will definitely make use of its orbital positions with satellites manufactured in our country. It completes a strategic cycle began by the former president Néstor Kirchner and followed by Cristina Kirchner with her satellite policy, which was strongly funded by the Ministry of Federal Planning. At the beginning it seemed a risky decision, but today the ARSAT-1 is already providing actual services from the space and, in a couple of months, we will also have the ARSAT-2 in full operation.”
In other passages, the President of ARSAT S.A. pointed out the importance of having a C-band frequency, which is used in Latin America for data transmission, since Argentina is “an important provider of content in the region.” He added: “The satellite will occupy orbital position 81° W, the defense of which was the reason that led Argentina to build the ARSAT and devise the Argentine Geostationary Satellite Plan. Ten years after the development of this plan, our country is consolidating as manufacturer of geostationary satellites.”
In his turn, Norberto Berner emphasized the satisfaction felt for having a new national satellite. “We take great pride in having achieved another Argentine satellite. The ARSAT-2 was a dream of Néstor Kirchner and Cristina Fernández de Kirchner that became true thanks to their political decision and their strategic look into the telecommunications future. The development of this kind of technology won Argentina international recognition, since only a select group of countries have the capacity for it. Moreover, the new satellite will give comparative advantages not only to the national government, but also to the public and private companies that benefit from its services,” he concluded.