re posted from EIR DAILY ALERT SERVICE
Argentina Will Use Science ‘To Build the Future,’ and Look to the Stars
Sept. 19 (EIRNS)—The Sept. 17 announcement by Argentine President Alberto Fernández of a “National Connectivity Plan,” to vastly expand internet and broadband access to millions of Argentines, especially in rural areas, plus resumption of the ARSAT satellite construction program, is just the latest step toward making scientific and technological development, including the exploration of space, a policy of state. Fernández has already begun to reactivate those programs which neoliberal President Mauricio Macri paralyzed during his 2015-2019 presidency, including development of a rocket launcher capable of sending Argentine satellites into space.
The National Connectivity Plan will not only extend telecommunications infrastructure throughout the country. It includes relaunching the program to build the series of geostationary ARSAT satellites, the third of which the anti-science Macri halted. This occurs just a few weeks after Fernández announced that internet, cable TV and TV would now be considered “essential services,” and thus subject to state regulation—enraging the neoliberal opposition which uses the internet and social media as a political weapon against the government.
In addition, shortly after the successful Aug. 31 launch into polar orbit by SpaceX of Argentina’s SAOCOM-1B satellite from Cape Canaveral, the Science and Technology Ministry and the National Space Activities Commission (CONAE) announced the relaunching of the “Access to Space” program, (also sabotaged by Macri), one of whose key goals is to build the Tronador II and III rocket launchers to allow Argentina to launch its own satellites, and to build space centers around the country, Infocielo news agency reported Aug. 29. Science and Technology Minister Ricardo Salvarezza stressed “the idea that we as a state have is to be one of the countries that has space sovereignty, in telecommunications, in observation; we also want to have access to space itself.”
Argentina will continue to build more satellites in both the ARSAT and SAOCOM series, which have different functions, but is also looking toward building the Sabia-Mar satellite for oceanic observation as well as the Latin American Meteorological Satellite. As Página 12 reported Sept. 1, Salvarezza emphasized that “with the government of Alberto Fernández, we’ve made a 180-degree turn, and restored the purpose that science will be one of our tools to build the future.”
CONAE executive director Raul Kulichevsky discussed the importance of Argentina being able to launch its own satellites and not having to depend on foreign firms like SpaceX to do so. “In three years, we want to be able to launch our own satellites, and be a reference point for other Latin American nations that can use Argentine installations” to launch their satellites. “We’re in the club of privileged countries that can design their own satellites, but if we can also launch them that will be a luxury.” CONAE is responsible, too, for carrying out the National Space Plan, a “high-priority policy of state,” Página 12 reported Sept. 1. Its key foci are “observation of the Earth, exploration and peaceful utilization of outer space, as well as technological development for use in space.”
Source: EIR Daily Alert Service