On September 27, 2013, the President Cristina Fernández de Kirchner officially opened the Hi-Tech Test Center (CEATSA, in Spanish) located at the headquarters of INVAP S.E. (an Argentine State-owned Applied Research Company), in San Carlos de Bariloche. She also kicked off the final testing stage of ARSAT-1, the first Argentine geostationary telecommunications satellite designed and built by INVAP for ARSAT S.A., the Argentine Company for Satellite Solutions, dependent on the national Department of Federal Planning, Public Investment and Services.
The head of state together with the Governor of the Province of Río Negro, Dr. Alberto Weretilneck, the acting Vice-governor of the Province of Neuquén, Dr. Ana María Pechen, the Governor of the Province of Chubut, Dr. Martín Buzzi, the Minister of Federal Planning, Public Investment and Services, Architect Julio De Vido, the Minister of Science, Technology and Innovative Production, Dr. Lino Barañao, the National Senator of the Province of Río Negro, Dr. Miguel Ángel Pichetto, the Mayor of San Carlos de Bariloche, Lic. María Eugenia Martini, the President of the Board of Directors of INVAP S.E., Horacio Osuna, and its General Manager, Lic. Héctor Otheguy, among other authorities, toured in the first place the Satellite Integration Building of INVAP, where the ARSAT-2 telecommunication satellite and the SAOCOM 1A Earth observation satellite are being built. Both of them are at their integration stage.
Then, Dr. Fernández de Kirchner visited and officially opened the Hi-Tech Test Center (CEATSA, in Spanish). This public company was established in 2010 as a result of an agreement between ARSAT S.A. and INVAP S.E. to attend to the needs of the space and other national industries. The goal of CEATSA is to complement production processes with testing services that include the use of special equipment to measure variables describing the quality and performance of complex products and technological systems. These measures are the key to the development of the region.
The President’s inauguration in CEATSA marked the beginning of the testing stage of the ARSAT-1 satellite, which is planned to be launched in the first semester of 2014. At present, the satellite has successfully passed the functional tests and is ready to undergo the environmental tests. The latter simulate the conditions to which it will be exposed during its launching stage (vibrations) and all through its lifetime (in a vacuum, no-gravity environment with cycles of extreme temperature variations). These tests, carried out in CEATSA, are essential to guarantee proper functioning during its15-year lifetime in orbit.
After the President’s visit, the Argentine National Space Activities Commission (CONAE, in Spanish) and INVAP signed a cooperation agreement to perform the necessary tasks for building two launching platforms as well as other auxiliary facilities for the Tronador II rocket . They will be located at the Puerto Belgrano Naval Area (near Bahía Blanca city) and will allow to complete the Argentine space production cycle by putting the satellites into orbit through the use of national resources.
Moreover, ARSAT S.A. and INVAP signed a memorandum of agreement for building the ARSAT-3 satellite, which together with ARSAT 1 and 2 will be put into orbits 81° and 72° West. These orbital positions were allocated to Argentina by the International Telecommunication Union (ITU) dependent on the United Nations Organization, to provide telephone, data, Internet and TV services.
Video: Speech of the President Cristina Fernández de Kirchner
Video: Speech of the General Manager & CEO of INVAP, Lic. Héctor Otheguy