China delivers control of satellite to Venezuela

Updated: 2013-09-03 14:06


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CARACAS - China has delivered full control of the Chinese-built Miranda satellite over to Venezuela, Venezuelan Minister of Science and Technology Manuel Fernandez announced Monday at an official event.

At the transfer ceremony held at the Manuel Rios Aerospace Base (Bamari) in El Sombrero in the central state of Guarico, Fernandez said 54 Venezuelan professionals will be in charge of operating his country's second satellite, VRSS-1.

It was launched into orbit from China on September 28, 2012 at a cost of $140 million.

Actually, the remote-controlled satellite has been operated by Venezuelan experts since January from a location in China, he said.

The satellite allows authorities to take complete inventory of Venezuelan territory, with precise information on strategic sites, including security and defense sites, mining and oil infrastructure, agriculture, food, health and environment, said the minister.

The Miranda satellite's permanent observation capacity can also be used to detect natural resources, plan industrial parks, expand urban centers, locate wetland areas and take preventive measures in case of natural disasters.

The satellite has completed 4,350 orbits around the earth and 900 turns around the country, and fulfilled 731 satellite missions. It captured 19,493 images with its four panchromatic cameras and 3,249 images with its multispectral camera, said the minister.

Venezuela's first satellite, Simon Bolivar, VENESAT-1, was also launched from China, on October 28, 2008, at a cost of 180 million dollars.