(By Peter B. de Selding | Jun. 6, 2014 © Spacenews)
PARIS — The Bolivian government has received expressions of interest from six nations whose industries want to build a Bolivian Earth observation satellite as part of a $100 million program that should result in a launch in 2017, the director of Bolivia’s space agency, ABE, said June 5.
Ivan Zambrana, in a briefing in La Paz summarized by the Bolivian government, said the governments of Britain, China, France, Russia, Spain and the United States have all expressed interest in the Bolivian program, and that Chinese and French companies have already submitted initial bids.
Bolivia in 2013 launched its first national telecommunications satellite, a program managed by China Great Wall Industry Corp.
Industry officials said it appears that owning a national Earth observation satellite has become a subject of national pride in Latin America. After Chile and Peru, a radar satellite surveillance program in Argentina and an ongoing competition in Colombia for an optical satellite, Bolivia wants to be next with its own orbital surveillance asset.