Centenario: the New Mexican SatelliteBy Fernanda Duque Hernández
Programmed for launch on Saturday May 16.
On May 16th at 00:47 hrs - Mexico City time – the Mexican satellite christened Centenario will finally be launched into orbit. The launch will take place at the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan and its objective will be to reinforce the work made by the previous Mexsat 3 satellite, a.k.a. Bicentenario, to connect all regions of Mexico.
After verifying the correct operation of the device, Mexico’s Ministry of Communications and Transportation (SCT) reported that the satellite was programmed for launch this Saturday. It has been designed to be used in emergency situations such as hurricanes or any other natural disaster. Its job will be to maintain active communication networks in specific areas.
According to its design, it will hold an antenna 22 by 26 meters long – 36% larger than a basketball court. The frequency range of the Satellite will enable the device to ensure mobile connection between people, land, sea and air transport.
The rocket that will put the satellite on orbit weighs over 100 tons and is 51m high. After Centenario has been placed 113 degrees longitude west of the equator, it will need about 10 months to begin its work because it has to deploy and test its antenna connection. It has been designed to be functional for at least 15 years.
For the development of these projects, Gerardo Ruiz Esparza, director of SCT stated that the ministry has a budget of MX $7,500 million for the construction and maintenance of each satellite.
The SCT will broadcast live the satellite launch through its website. You can also follow the countdown using the free application MexsatApp directly from your smartphone.
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