Argentina to Begin Testing of Small Satellite Launch Vehicle

Tronador II rocket. (Credit: Sergio Panei Pitrau)
Tronador II rocket. (Credit: Sergio Panei Pitrau)

Here’s an interesting item (via Google Translate) from the Argentine newspaper El País:

The Government of Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner….announced this week that before the end of the month it will begin the first tests of the Tronador III satellite launcher in the village of Pipinas (156 kilometers south of Buenos Aires ). It will then test the first of up to six prototypes before installing in 2015 the final structure for satellite launches in the city of Bahía Blanca, located about 690 kilometers south of the capital of Argentina.

The plan foresees Argentina state satellite investment of $335 million between 2014 and 2016, including $9.2 million for the experimental vehicle. The rocket measures 14.5 meters, weighs nearly 3 tons and moves at 800 kilometers per hour. All satellite technology is developed by 350 Argentine scientists and technicians, although led by an Italian who heads the National Commission on Space Activities , Conrado Varotto. The project also involves the University of La Plata and technology public company in the southern province of Black River, Invap. The future launch platform at Bahía Blanca can put satellites weighing 250 kilos into a medium orbit.

“The Tronador III means sovereignty and development, because we will make full satellite mission alone,” said the Minister of Federal Planning, Public Investment and Services, Julio de Vido. “Sovereignty, that alone will allow us to complete satellite mission, i.e., building and putting satellites into orbit. And because we do technological development design and construction that is 100% Argentine, which also allow us to put in orbit satellites of others.”

For all the latest space news, please follow Parabolic Arc
on Facebook and Twitter.