Argentina launches its first home-built satellite

Staff Writer
Columbus CEO

BUENOS AIRES, Argentina (AP) — Argentina has launched its first domestically built communications satellite.

The ARSAT-1 satellite launched Thursday is the first to be constructed with local technology in Latin America. It was built by a crew of about 500 scientists over seven years at a cost of $250 million.

The satellite was launched from a base in French Guyana and is to orbit 22,000 (36,000 kilometers) above Earth.

It's designed to provide digital television and cellphone services to Argentina, Chile, Paraguay and Uruguay.

ARSAT-1 is also expected to improve telephone and Internet connections in remote places, including for scientists are working in the Antarctic region.