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China to launch Bolivian satellite in 2013: Chinese Ambassador

(Xinhua)

15:26, January 06, 2012

LA PAZ, Jan. 5 (Xinhua) -- China would put Bolivia's first telecommunications satellite into orbit in December 2013, China's Ambassador to Bolivia Shen Zhiliang announced Thursday.

The manufacturing process of the satellite had been completed in China, Shen said, and technicians from both countries were working on the final design, which was expected to be finished by March 2013.

If there were no divergences among the parts, the project will be completed before next December.

Named after a Bolivian indigenous hero who led an uprising against the Spanish conquistadors, the Tupac Katari satellite will be launched from the southwest Xichang Satellite Launch Center in China.

The satellite agreement was signed between the Bolivian Space Agency and the Great Wall Industry Corporation of China, a subsidiary of the Aerospace Science and Technology Corporation of China in December 2010.

It would benefit Bolivia in areas such as education, medicine and communication, Bolivia's deputy science and technology minister Pedro Crespo has previously said.

According to the agreement, China will provide technology and guarantee the quality of the satellite.

Space science training will be provided to 74 Bolivian members of the project's administrative team, in China next March, Bolivian Space Agency said Thursday.

The project is costing the South American country nearly 300 million U.S. dollars, of which 45 million will come from the General Treasury of Bolivia and the other 250 million as a loan from the Development Bank of China.

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