LA PAZ, June 5 -- The Bolivian Space Agency (ABE) said Thursday that it has received a bidding from China to build an exploration satellite for the country, which would be Bolivia's second satellite.
Bolivia's first communications satellite, made by China Aerospace Science and Technology Corporation (CASC), was launched on Dec. 21 last year.
ABE Director Ivan Zambrana told reporters that six transnational firms from China, Russia, France, England, Spain and the United States have formally expressed their interest in making an exploration satellite for Bolivia.
The satellite would carry out territorial surveys including soil studies and natural resources explorations, such as water and minerals that are near the earth's surface.
The satellite, to be named after Bartolina Sisa, an indigenous leader who helped fight the Spanish colonial rule, would be launched at the end of 2017 or the beginning of 2018.
According to the ABE, this project is on a smaller scale than the first one.
"The satellite is lighter, smaller, and at a much lower orbit," said the director. "It doesn't reach 1,000 kilometers. It will cost less."
The ABE said it also received a bidding from France.
"We are still awaiting proposals from companies from the other four countries to choose the best option," he said.