The Argentine team of professionals from the National Commission for Space Activities (CONAE) and INVAP SE began this Monday at the base of Cape Canaveral, United States, the preparations for the launch of the SAOCOM 1B satellite, planned for the July 25, after completing the preventive quarantine and passing two coronavirus tests.
One of the team members, the engineer Juan Ignacio Casais, expressed in the CONAE Facebook profile: “We have just made the authorizations to enter the base. This is the first day that we are entering and finally we are going to start the tasks with Saocom and we are super anxious and very motivated. “
“We came today after doing both tests against Covid-19 and the whole team is fine, we are all healthy, “he added.
(EFE / Conae Argentina)
“We have high expectations for the possibility of completing the work that was interrupted in March and advancing the campaign, in these few days that we have left from here to launch. We are very eager for the commissioning to begin (period for setting up the satellite barely reaches its orbit) and that SAOCOM 1B complete the constellation of two Argentine satellites and can provide services, “Casais completed from Cape Canaveral.
The Earth observation satellite SAOCOM 1B will be launched on Saturday, July 25 using a company Falcon 9 vector SpaceX.
Its launch into orbit represents a milestone for Argentina, because it incorporates a complex technology developed in the country, the Synthetic Aperture Radar (SAR), whose microwave signal can pierce the clouds and “see” to capture images of the Earth’s surface, even if it is cloudy, both during the day and at night, according to an official statement.
Raúl Kulichevsky, Executive Director and Technician of CONAE, highlighted that, with the launch of the satellite, Argentina will complete the SAOCOM Mission, designed to “offer solutions to local problems that until today cannot be satisfied with information from other satellites. In addition, with this national satellite mission, the country is positioned in a select group of countries capable of developing radar technology for space use. “
“All this means that we have a satellite that can satisfy the country’s own needs. They are designed for us, which makes a very significant qualitative difference compared to other satellites,” he said.
Thus, he took as an example the joint work that CONAE carried out with INTA to make a set of applications available to agricultural producers that could improve their management decisions on crops.
(EFE / Conae Argentina)
Similarly, he mentioned the actions that were carried out with other organizations such as the National Water Institute and the specialized sectors in emergency and health management.
Likewise, will allow obtaining information on the presence of ships in areas of Argentine jurisdiction, which can be invaded by boats that fish illegally.
Leandro Groetzner, CONAE coordination manager, reported that the application of the safety and hygiene protocol for the coronavirus pandemic will continue until the end of the month, when it is planned to put the satellite into orbit, as well as during the engineers’ return to Argentina and their first 14 days in the country.
CONAE and INVAP professionals carried out a PCR Test five days before traveling to the United States, with a strict quarantine from that moment until taking the plane to the state of Florida, to avoid the risk of contagion.
At Cape Canaveral, they carried out another eight-day quarantine and underwent two additional new tests administered by SpaceX, which, when passed, enabled them to enter the base today.