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Sat Sep 29, 2012, 03:14 AM

Chavez applauds as Venezuela’s 2nd satellite is launched from China

Source: Associated Press

Chavez applauds as Venezuela’s 2nd satellite is launched from China
By Associated Press, Updated: Saturday, September 29, 12:43 AM

CARACAS, Venezuela — China has launched a second satellite built for Venezuela’s government.

The remote sensing satellite soared into orbit atop a rocket from the northwestern Chinese province of Gansu.

The launch was shown live on Venezuelan TV on Friday night. Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez applauded as he watched alongside aides in Caracas, congratulating those who worked on the project.

Officials have said the satellite cost $140 million and will provide images for tasks such as mapping croplands, counter-drug efforts and monitoring floods.


Read more: http://www.washingtonpost.com/business/chavez-applauds-as-venezuelas-2nd-satellite-is-launched-from-china/2012/09/29/8f1026c2-09f8-11e2-9eea-333857f6a7bd_story.html

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Response to Judi Lynn (Original post)

Sat Sep 29, 2012, 04:54 AM

1. Can anyone chime in about Chinese launch capabilities compared to other places?

I'm glad that it's not just a US/Russia monopoly, but from the little I know, it seems like - geographically - Venezuela wouldn't be a bad place for this. Is it just that China has the infrastructure in place to do this?

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Response to harmonicon (Reply #1)

Sat Sep 29, 2012, 05:43 AM

2. Venezuela has no launch capability at all.

So they have to outsource it to someone.

China is happy to be paid in oil rather than hard cash though, so it's more useful than going with, say, SpaceX which would need an upfront cash payment (and to be fair SpaceX wouldn't have been able to launch it until say 2014).

China is probably getting the better end of the deal in the end.

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Response to joshcryer (Reply #2)

Sat Sep 29, 2012, 05:58 AM

3. I know that Venezuela doesn't have the infrastructure right now...

but aren't they closer to the part of the world where a lot of launches (like SpaceX, as you mention) take place?

I wonder what economy of scale is needed for a country to acquire the facilities. Right now this is looking pretty grim for governments, as even NASA is looking to private industry for innovation.

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Response to harmonicon (Reply #3)

Sat Sep 29, 2012, 06:34 AM

4. NASA's budget is amazingly small

About 17.7 billion for all the things that they do, including the military portion. Many countries could afford that, but it is not all about money. There is physical and intellectual infrastructure that could take generations to build.

PS - I do believe launching from the equator takes less energy.

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Response to harmonicon (Reply #3)

Sat Sep 29, 2012, 11:24 AM

5. Centre Spatial Guyanais is nearby (well within a few hundred miles)

Used by the French for Laubches

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Guiana_Space_Centre

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Response to harmonicon (Reply #3)

Sat Sep 29, 2012, 12:27 PM

6. SpaceX has a launch facility on the Kwajalein Atoll in the Marshall islands.

The main problem is that launching rockets is darn hard, rockets have a military aspect to them, and countries don't want to risk other states gaining the knowledge and technology to launch rockets.

Venezuela and other states close to the equator would be perfect launching places, it's just that the whole idea of having your rockets in those states is risky business. What would happen if Chavez "expropriated" a Falcon 9 that was getting ready to launch? Then sold the technology to China or Russia. It would be a disaster.

edit: or Iran or North Korea... that would be epically bad, North Korea has been wildly unsuccessful launching their rockets, having a Falcon 9 to play with would be crazy.

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Response to harmonicon (Reply #1)

Sat Sep 29, 2012, 10:55 PM

7. It's easier to launch from equatorial regions, but not necessary

Launches can benefit from the Earth's rotation if launched from sites near the equator, but it isn't essential,as Russia has demonstrated.

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Response to Judi Lynn (Original post)

Sun Sep 30, 2012, 04:14 AM

8. Satellite launch stirs passions before big vote in Venezuela

Satellite launch stirs passions before big vote in Venezuela

President Chavez says it highlights achievements; foe says it points to neglect of problems

updated 9/28/2012 6:53:11 PM ET

CARACAS — Venezuela will launch its second satellite on Friday in a move President Hugo Chavez says highlights the achievements of his self-styled revolution ahead of an election, but which his rival says underscores his neglect of problems closer to home.

It is a close race with just nine days to go before the vote in South America's biggest oil exporter. Both sides are planning huge rallies next week to close their campaigns, as well as making last-ditch efforts to win over undecided voters.

Opposition candidate Henrique Capriles says Chavez is focused on spreading his socialist project around the world - and has done little to address the daily problems of Venezuelans such as crime.

The "Miranda Satellite," which will be launched from China, is a prime example of what he calls Chavez's grandiose plans. For the government, it is a symbol of sovereign pride.

More:
http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/49218690/ns/world_news-asia_pacific/

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Response to Judi Lynn (Original post)

Sun Sep 30, 2012, 07:14 PM

9. Yeah, because a satellite will solve the REAL problems of Venezuelans

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