Chilean Premieres First Operational Satellite

By Dialogo
March 30, 2012

Chile’s first Military satellite, launched in December on a Russian Soyuz rocket, is now operational, its European builder Astrium announced on March 27.

The FASat Charlie satellite, Latin America’s most powerful, was “accepted” by the Chilean Armed Forces, Astrium announced in a statement.

The 20 Chilean engineers who are operating the satellite were trained at Astrium’s center in Toulouse, in southwestern France.

The satellite was launched, with five others, from the Kuru center, in French Guiana, on December 16, 2011.

Astrium, a European space leader and the third-ranking space firm in the world, is a subsidiary of the European aviation and defense giant EADS.

“Astrium is proud of having developed and delivered Ibero-America’s most powerful observation satellite to the Chilean authorities, and moreover, in optimal condition,” Astrium indicated in a statement released in Spanish.