Paraguay will seek to launch its first satellite in 2021, the head of the country's space agency told EFE here Friday.
"This is a process that will take two to three years. If everything goes as planned, we expect to launch the satellite in 2021, although important efforts must be carried out to make this happen," Liduvino Vielman said after a ceremony to mark the 49th anniversary of the Apollo moon landing.
Paraguay's Space Agency (AEP), founded in 2014, is currently focused on training its personnel and sparking children's interest in astronomy and space, so as to guarantee a future for the institution.
Vielman acknowledged that Paraguay's space career was still incipient and that the country's "human talent regarding space issues" was still weak, explaining the importance of training specialists and establishing agreements with foreign universities and space agencies.
"We don't just want to buy satellites and launch them. We want to create knowledge and technology. That is our priority at the AEP," he said.
Paraguayan research centers have already started to develop CubeSat, a type of miniaturized satellite measuring roughly 10 cm (4 in) on each side, which will mainly be used to carry out forest monitoring and cadastral mapping, Jorge Kurita, AEP's director of planning and management, told EFE.