An Ecuadorable little satellite

A Russian Dnepr RS-20 rocket like this one will carry an Ecuadorian satellite into orbit next year.

Sheesh. Those crazy Latinos, whatever will they do next? First Venezuela puts Simón Bolívar into orbit, then Bolivia follows suit with Tupac Amaru. Now, Ecuador is also getting in on the Earth-orbiting business, with a tiny little titan of its own:

Ecuador will be launching its first satellite, for use in scientific and educative missions, in September 2012. For this reason, it will sign a contract in the coming week with a Russian company which will launch the satellite into orbit, to the Ecuadorian Civil Space Agency (EXA).

The satellite, named NEE-O1 Pegaso, weighs 1.2 kilograms, measures 75 centimetres wide by 10 centimetres high, and was built by Ecuadorian technicians with no foreign assistance, according to an EXA press release.

The satellite will be placed in orbit by a Dnepr RS20 rocket launched from Russia next September. It will incorporate a video transmission system for live broadcasts from space, and solar panels just 1.5 millimetres thick.

The signing of the launch contract will take place on Tuesday in the auditorium of the Aerial Warfare Academy in Quito.

Translation mine.

BTW, Aporrea also reports that at least 6,000 Venezuelan households now enjoy satellite TV courtesy of the Simón Bolívar satellite, also known as Venesat-1. The project is still in its early stages, but so far, reception has been good (pun intended).

Something tells me that at the rate things are going, Latin America is going to be a lot less dependent on gringo technology, and a lot more reliant on its own. And that’s a GOOD thing!